Tuesday, January 23, 2007


There is something unabashedly romantic about a mailbox. Sure, we usually see bills; discount coupons; junk mail; and more bills. But once in awhile we receive: a letter from a friend we haven't heard from in ages; an invitation to a wedding we hoped would happen; an acceptance letter of some sort; a holiday card from someone who never usually sends them; a love letter; a care package filled with candies, music, a used book with a message written on the inside flap. I love checking the mail every day. And I'm not even disappointed when I see all those bills and whatnot. I know that's par for the course. I just love seeing that familiar handwriting and knowing that I get to open the envelope, dig out the paper, read an adventure in a friend's life.

Sigh. You postal people rock!

Plus, as a side note, isn't it fun to study different kinds of mailboxes? There are the metal ones to the side of one's door; metal and plastic ones along the curb; "regular" ones and ones shaped like fishes, or homes, or other cool things. On my way to work, there are these two metal mailboxes side-by-side. They are along a main strip of highway, next to a telephone pole, supported in the background by a dirty gravel lot, a few tumbleweeds, and lots of open space (with some plain office-y buildings far in the distance). What especially strikes me--besides the fact these are the Mailboxes that Time Has Forgotten--is that one of them is missing its back, and you can see right through to the other side. Sometimes, esp. when I'm stopped at the light at the intersection and happen to be lined up with them, I can see a cloudy sky; a purple sky with the sun rising; rain falling. It's quite rare and beautiful. Even more amazing: sometimes the mailbox is closed and sometimes it's open. Are there secret exchanges going on? I've often had the urge to address a letter to Whomever Finds It, and tuck it in the mailbox, hoping that a man or woman or girl or boy finds it and is comforted, for just a few moments, by a stranger's passing words.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Dead Choir Boy Photo Opp. (Or, Ketchup as Accessory)

I had a lovely weekend overall. The Society-a-Thon was a hit on Saturday. First off: We ate surprisingly healthy food (save for the banana creme pie, Whoppers, and peanut M&M's!)....veggie chili....hummus with pita bread....a delectable pumpkin nut raisin bread....And the "prologue" to the fest made me bust my guts with laughter: Mom, Ben, and I took pictures of the decapitated choir boy head (don't worry folks, he's a mannequin/doll/thing my mom's had for years as part of her annual Christmas display; his head got broken off in one of Mom's moves)....We stuck his head in a pot, put a see-through lid on it/him, and laid a knife by the pot. I doused the knife with ketchup, and Mom took multi-angled photos of our masterpiece. We followed this with sticking my new, weird man-face in the freezer and photographing him amongst the ice cream and frozen broccoli. We ended things on a sunny note outside (it was an exquisite day, just pure sun and January warmth), and Mom snapped some photo opps. with Ben and me. D.A.D., our neighbor, stopped by and didn't seem to know what the hell was going on! We kept things semi-innocent, no worries!

Karla and Michael joined us for the fest, as did Karin when she got off work. We watched American Beauty, Lawn Dogs, and The Village, a nice trio, in a nice order. Everyone stayed intrigued and interested throughout the festivities. I sure do love these movies.

Friday and Sunday were perfect bookends: On Friday I went with Karla to a funeral home & crematorium for pets, Dignified Pet Services. She'd laid out Rouge/Rougie--her iguana--in a blanket, with a flower lay, and we were able to spend some time with him in the parlor so Karla could say her goodbyes. The woman who was working at Dignified Pet Services--her name eludes me at this moment--is kind, benevolent, warm, smart, and compassionate. I took to her immediately. I wasn't sure what to expect at DPS--cheesiness, gaudiness?--but I was impressed by the subtle class, and the just-right casualness in the way the place was organized and decorated. (Check them out at: www.dignifiedpetservices.com) Truly a special place, and I recommend it to anyone who'd like an alternative/special way to find some peace & closure with losing a loved one....Sunday involved seeing Pan's Labyrinth at Cinema 21, and WOW!, this movie rocks! We sat up in the balcony, and Ben and I felt all "romantic" as the young girl's relationship with Pan grows while she's also warding off her evil stepfather, trying to rescue her mother and baby brother, and helping the rebel militia. This is a modern day classic, and effortlessly could be a part of the Society-a-Thon. Ben and I ate dinner at Starky's, a gay restaurant on Stark Street....I've passed this place hundreds of time and had no idea it was a gay establishment! I also give it two thumbs up. Great food, casual atmosphere, overall a nice experience.

The sun is out now; I'm loving it!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Andras Jones (Or, One of the Main Reasons to Fall in Love with A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master)

Hi everybody! So, back in the day when A.J. Beckert and I used to sneak into R-rated films, one of our highlights was crashing ANOES4: The Dream Master. I'd seen the previous three on VHS, and this was a BIG DEAL to see Freddy Krueger come back for more action on the big screen! This was right before puberty set in, and I didn't know I was gay at the time. When Andras Jones and Danny Hassel showed up as Rick and Danny, respectively, I thought, "Huh, these two guys seem really....interesting!" Little did I know that the latter fulfilled my have-a-crush-on-the-jocks-who-picked-on-me syndrome, and the former fulfilled my have-a-crush-on-the-culture-rebel-hottie syndrome. Of course, today--despite Danny Hassel's loveable butt in those tight jeans in both ANOES4&5--Rick/Andras Jones wins out every time! I mean, just look at him.

And I just found out he lives in Olympia, Washington (a place I love--and just a hop, skip, and a jump from Portland), is a part of an indie rock band, and hosts a live radio show every Tuesday! I have this urge to go to Olympia, to one of his shows or something, and totally have him sign my ANOES4 DVD! I mean, I'd come off as lame, but heck, it must be nice to still be honored all these years later, you know? I wouldn't be the first or the last, I'm sure. In any case, I think it's awesome that Mr. Jones seems to have a very leftist approach to life/music/art, which gives him total Street Cred in my book, and I think it would be great to treat him to a cup of coffee while he relives just how often he rehearsed his "Swish, Kill the Fish" scene with Lisa Wilcox, who played Alice, his sister, in the movie.

Andras -- You're such a cutie! And you seem smart and with it! Good luck to you.

Here's a link to check him out:

And if you're all feeling really ambitious, feel free to check out Toe Brights, a toe jewelry company started by Lisa Wilcox and Tuesday Knight (who played Kristin Parker in The Dream Master). Their jewelry looks amazing! Here you go:

Tuesday and Lisa, I ADORE you, as well! Whether it's ANOES4 or 2000 Malibu Road, you two get an A+ in my book. Shucks, I was SO upset that 2000 Malibu Road wasn't picked up for more episodes! That show rocked!

p.s. I must also mention that I was incredibly touched in The Dream Master during the scene where Alice and Rick watch a video of them and their friends, and the siblings are just sitting together on the couch, wondering what will happen next. I got so emotional! I totally cared for these characters and was sad when each one of them died. Parts 1, 3, and 4 of ANOES (and moments in the others too, esp. 7) really did a great job making this about characters, not just slashings. Sigh.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Esther (Or, Why Owlmates Always Save the Day)

I love my little Esther. She knows me like no other, and if I were to pick one person who truly grasped my essence--understood it, innately, without questions--it's her. Who else can I: make out with on her ex-boyfriend's bed (I didn't know at the time), right in front of him (hah! I thought he was just a friend!), so that we could practice our college kissing techniques(while in our Halloween costumes); smoke a little and dress up in '80s garb and dance to Culture Club at the student union at UW-Madison and truly believe we were back in the '80s; get in mock-fights with on the phone over our faux-son, Richard, and how I'm being neglectful with child support payments (sometimes I send my imaginary son a real card on his birthday--Halloween--with a single dollar bill in it, saying, "It's all my bastard son deserves!".....then Esther replies with, "I don't want you to have contact with him! You'll turn him GAY!!!"); hold hands while walking down the street and play "Who's HE tryin' to fool?", a game we made up where people look at us, think we're a couple, and we giggle cuz we just KNOW they're shaking their heads and thinking, "Doesn't that ditz realize her boyfriend's a total homo?"; laugh about our camping trip where we met Al C.--who gave us one of his heavy metal CDs (picture: long-haired, chest-haired rocker with dangling gold chain standing on a cliff top holding a red electric guitar in his hands)--and where Esther turned into a Bitch by saying, "Um, can we try camping MY way?"; laugh some more about how she turned into Queen Bitch one day where she'd dropped her lipstick, turned around to me, and said in complete seriousness, "Pick up my lipstick!"; see ExistenZ at the theatre, smoke & eat mint chocolate chip ice cream while listening to all of Jesus Christ Superstar & then go see ExistenZ again the same day; send each other vulgar pictures of gay porn with comic book captions, thus turning them into new definitions of "graphic novels"; laugh yet again over how she sent me an ad for fertility treatments, where this man was hugging his pregnant wife, and the man looked eerily like me (if I did too many drugs in the '70s and got hair transplants) and Es wrote something to the effect of, "Nathan turns straight after successful electroshock therapy!"; call each other Bitch and Whore all the time without even pausing in our conversations or wondering what other people think if & when they overhear us.


Esther, you're the best. Stay true!

Monday, January 08, 2007



You looked so beautiful on your wedding day, a true Pixie Queen. Your purple gown hung over you in tight waves, and the straps perfectly framed the tattoo on your back. Thanks for having me stand up for you, and for being such a lovely friend, and for letting your hair stay in that crazy-sex weave.

I'm so happy for you! And proud to call you a friend!


Friendship (Or, Family: The Extended Cut)

I am constantly struck by the beauty of friendships, how they can sink into our bloodstreams and stain our veins. I have a friend of mine, J, who let herself cry in front of me for the first time this weekend. There is a strange form of raw love that comes with allowing someone to see you be vulnerable like this. I feel closer to J than ever. And she just glowed this weekend, even in the midst of a breakup with someone who is also wonderful and strong. Seriously, J radiated light.

I got this image in my mind this morning of A.J. Beckert, and how we met on Halloween when I was in fourth grade and he was in fifth. He was Dracula, I was a homemade ghost, and we (meaning, Mom) gave him a ride home. There we were in the big blue van with all the rust on the sides, a vampire and ghost just chilling as only children in Halloween costumes can. I have pictures of me that day, the way my mom chalked up my face with whiteness, drew black lines and circles around my eyes and lips. Mom always pushed the edges with my costumes, made me into Scary Ghost instead of Cute Ghost. That's one of the infinite things I love about Jan Buck -- her willingness to capture the essence of something, not to hide it behind safe layers.

I am going to have to write my cousin Molly a letter soon and let her know that I can't make it to her wedding. Finanical reasons. I've tried everything I can to stretch my budget, make it work somehow, but I'd be left really, really struggling to pay some bills if I flew to Southern California in May. Molly was both cousin and friend growing up, she the tomboy and me the fainting princess. I made her be the father when we played House, of course. I'd always told her that I'd be at her wedding, and I can't express enough how happy I am for her. Molly is one of those people who makes you smile effortlessly. She truly is a Jester Faerie of the highest court....She and I grew up in different "money arenas." I'm hoping--but am not sure--that she'll understand where I'm coming from in regards to this. I know she'll be disappointed (I'd be, too) but I also know that I have to protect myself a little and make sure I can breathe when it's time to write out all those checks. The wedding's going to be a whopper! I'm also hoping that she and I can plan something more intimate, where maybe I can fly to California and get more one-on-one time with her. I can stay with her, and we'll just ramble and giggle like we used to, and everything will be much more relaxed (and far cheaper)....There's a part of me that's regretful about not attending for other reasons: my relatives. They're an interesting bunch, full of contradictions, and I have to admit it would be dramatic (in both good and bad ways) to see C and MA again. I think about some of my amazing cousins--Lisa, Terry, Toni, others--and about this missed opportunity to give them hugs and let them know how much I appreciate them....In the end, I am sending Molly tons of love, friendship, cousinship, and laughs.

This weekend was a fulfilling one: pizza and a movie at Kevin's, breakfast with J & a walk with Ollie and Ben & Mom Time on Saturday, BeNathan time on Sunday (I just gave Ben my horrible cold, and he is now in the throes of it!).

It's misty outside today, and full of possibility. My intense dreams keep flooding me, and Peace is squeezing my hand and seating me next to Grace. Those two aren't bad partners to be seated between at the Table of Understanding & Connection.

Friday, January 05, 2007

throats of swans

throats of swans

i’ve scooped out the violins,
their insides filled with violence,
that time in Michigan on the pontoon
when we bumped the dead swan.
she’d been netted and strangled.
i was thankful for our lack of both speedboat and canoe –
one would have ripped through the bird,
the net lashed around the motor.
the other would have been silent oars dipping past lily pads,
the possibility of hearing winged ghosts
inside our water-silence,
next to that space the four of us reserve for divorce.

my family has built orchestras from questions.
i never could decide how to love him through music
so i offered him a poem instead, a pen from my bedroom,
some exchange of syllables that didn’t involve the public.
i still store violins inside our attic crawlspace
where he can run to me on all fours.

forever she will collect his atoms,
string them like Christmas lights from the eves of her heart.
never will she forget the way her wedding ring crumbled into sawdust:
a collection for a carpenter king’s explanations.
pass him his supper,
a plate filled with caviar and sour cream,
things i won’t eat,
things to keep my skinny body a question-marked clue,
an outcome for his cheating.

moving past someone has never felt so delicious,
like sheets in summer slipping from night limbs,
coiling on the floor,
leaving me to dream about morning alarm clock radios.

Copyrighted by Nathan Buck 2007.


Having a routine is very underrated. I love the idea of discipline, structured practice, daily rituals. I love getting up at the same time every day, writing & drinking coffee & leaving for work & going to sleep at the same time (or close to it) on a regular basis. There is something very Zen about Routine, like we find our ways closer to the Universe Essence by following our individual threads and strengthening them--weaving them, if you will--through a structured way of living. Routine = Meditation. Me likes.

P.S.: Jordan and Aaron -- I totally adored your visit here! (Alas, you two were a perfect reason to give Routine a break and to let that lovely Spontaneous Faerie flutter around.) Thank you for the pajama parties, road trips, laughs, great hugs, and thoughtful presents. I am a huge fan of the Brothers Buck.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Once and Again

***I've been thinking a lot about this show lately, how I relate to the situations these characters find themselves in, and how this show is all about talking. I just love that.

Felicity in Pondering Mode (Or, How Nathan Feels Sometimes)


I recently had a talk with someone I care about -- our topic: kissing. I told him that kissing between people can and should be about so many things. These things can get mixed together, or sometimes our kisses are focused on just one of them. Kissing is about: passion, loneliness, hope, lust, love, friendship, connection, vampiric soul-searching, envy, respect, relief. For me, it's always been interesting when both parties are in a kiss--it can be gentle or rough--and you just know, somehow, that you've both latched onto the same reason behind the kiss. This isn't to say that people come to kissing with the same intentions/wants all the time. It's just to say that sometimes there's an invisible cord connecting both people, and the knowledge passes from lips to lips that, yes, we are joined, one, and this is why. I find this to be wildly romantic, intimate, and innocent. Kisses and hugs are some of the best things in the universe, aren't they?