Monday, June 18, 2007

Gay Pride (and yet even more tidbits)

I had a magical, extended moment yesterday when Mom and I marched in the Gay Pride parade with Our House of Portland. Mom had made an orange sign that hung in her front and back: one side said "My Gay Son Is a Gift from God" and the other said "Proud Mom of a Gay Son". We waved those Our House flags in the air, and held hands, and people cheered us on and asked to take our picture time and again. Mom kept shouting, "God loves everyone!" and she even took on some protesters. You know the kind -- the ones holding signs with cartoon flames saying "Gays Burn in Hell" and "Jesus Grants Forgiveness", and others with huge close-ups of aborted fetuses explaining how us liberals are damning this nation. Janice Adele Veronica Bonaguro Buck Sinclair was laughing and smiling and standing by her son. I couldn't be more proud.

Overall, it's just been a magical few days....Christina and Ryan coming by on Saturday with delicious food for some Twin Peaks action....relaxing Thursday and Friday night with Mom....picking Ben up at the airport and hugging him tight and spending time with him again....seeing Karla, Shawn, Jennifer, and other loved ones at the Gay Pride festivities yesterday....loving that people from VOA came out and marched and represented....

Next up: NYC! I can't wait to hug Jordan and Aaron and spend a lovely few days in the Big Apple.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rob Zombie's Halloween -- Who's as excited as me?

I'm in the camp that's looking forward to Rob Zombie's interpretation of this classic. We'll see what he does with it. (My philosophy: in this day and age, remakes and sequels are inevitable, so it's all about the direction the directors and producers want to take. Check out the latest poster. And check out this link to Wikipedia if you'd like more of the scoop on Zombie's vision:


Lately some very important events have happened & occurred with me in these little flashes that, on first glance, seem isolated or "non-tapestry like" but in retrospect all fit together into a feeling I can't quite put a finger on. I feel like I've been going through a metamorphosis lately, and these life-moments have helped bring everything to fruition.

The tidbits:

1) Going to the carnival with Mom and Charlie. I was trying to get used to how things have changed--electronic tickets that you swipe like a debit card instead of crinkly blue tickets with raffle numbers....Sno-Cones in plastic flower-looking things instead of the wet, gooey, paper cones (but, as usual, the vendor put far from enough yummy sugary syrup into it, so I guess some things never change!)....And as I was taking in these changes, the three of us decided to venture into a petting zoo of sorts. That term's pretty inaccurate, actually. There were mammals and reptiles and birds and fish from different parts of the world, and many--if not most--were unpettable. This didn't want to stop me from trying, though; I got so sad in the tent, almost felt suffocoated, almost felt a panic attack coming on. The lynx and cougar seemed so sad. The monkeys' sad eyes stared at everyone with bored and drained exhaustion. And the porcupine. It kept turning back and forth, stir-crazy, cage-crazy, cage-madness, whatever the term is. I could tell that he'd gone mad from being trapped in this tiny metal space, and I knew I had to leave the tent before a full-blown panic attack set in. (Panic attacks are elusive enemies of mine. They'd moved away, but sometimes they threaten to return to my neighborhood.) I hurried from the tent and waited for Mom and Charlie. And I glanced back inside, heard and smelled and just felt the wrongness of it all....The children poking and prodding....teens giggling and pointing....parents chasing down their little ones....other people looking on sadly like me. It was far from a fun experience, and it haunted me for the rest of the night.

2) Karla and I went for a walk this week, and the sun was out (and my allergies were in full force) and the sun just felt perfect on our skins. We came across a group of young girls, six or seven of them, all around seven years old (one of them was maybe three). Usually, Karla pointed out, when you see kids having a stand it's a lemonade stand, and there's a small sign that is scrawled with crayon or marker announcing the sale of the yummy summer beverage. The theatrics of the stand--a table with pitchers of lemonade or whatnot--overshadow the cute sign. This kids' sale--of their rock collection--was the opposite. They had a HUGE typed/printed sign that must have come from a rock quarry or something, and they had rocks of various sizes, and the number of rocks--maybe fifteen--paled in comparison to this gargantuan sign! It was the cutest thing. Karla agreed to buy a rock, but she needed to cash in a twenty for some smaller bills, and we promised to come back. You should have seen these girls negotiating with each other--and us--regarding the prices of the rocks and stones. "That one's big, so it's a dollar." "No, it's medium! It's seventy-five cents. Wait, no, fifty!" "This small one only costs a quarter." "We'll make you a deal and give you both these rocks for a dollar." Karla and I left smiling and laughing with delight. The only thing to taint this is that, after we'd gone for dinner on Hawthorne and come back, the girls had already retreated back to their homes for the evening. Karla has promised to hunt them down she she can buy that rock; I have to keep tabs so I know what happens. And the wonderful epilogue to the evening? Karla giving me Winifred to come home and meet my mannequins, dolls, and other friends that hang out in my bedroom. Winifred is a pink unicorn pinata that lived with Fred, someone very close to Karla who passed away. I've always complimented Ms. Winnie every time I've gone to Karla's, and I feel honored she's entrusting her with me. (Winifred's name came to me in a flash, and it turns out it's Karla's mom's middle name....and, of course, it has "Fred" as part of her name.)

3) I stopped in Tiny's Coffee on MLK earlier this week, and I just instantly fell in love with--and was magnetically drawn to--all the artwork and wonderful other stuff they have on the walls, the counters, the everywhere. I'll keep my favorite part a secret, but only because it eerily converges with the novel I'm writing and with something I received in my mailbox that very day. Marieke -- was it you who coined "convergence" for me, at least in Nathan Land? I believe so.

4) Looking forward to Ben's return tonight.

5) Received a lovely letter from Alie this week.

6) Can't wait to see Jordan and Aaron next week in NYC.

7) Am feeling empowered, and powerful, with my writing.

8) Was touched and moved by last night's Gilmore Girls' episodes.

9) Had another strange dream last night -- but this, too, is a secret.

10) Have made the best damn dishes of ice cream the past two days.

11) Got a kick out of my conversation with Aaron last night -- our own O.C. convergence!

12) Loved the walk with Mom and Ollie. Ollie is the cutest damn thing, even outranking those girls selling rocks.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Extrapolation (this word just came to me as a title, I'm not quite sure why)

I have been on a real trip with my dreams lately. I don't remember all the details, just flashes, but they range from light-filled & beautiful to scary & haunted (and many places in-between). Last night I dreamt I was living in a post-apocalyptic society, and I took refuge in this collapsing brick & stone building where the stairs were near-disintegrated. People were living in these little pockets off the hallways, turning them into makeshift apartments (and they were oddly, poetically beautiful the way they were decorated with knick-knacks and garage sale-y, mismatched items), and there was even a restaurant on the second floor of this building. The restaurant was done in mosaics, colorful pieces of tiles creating artwork on the walls and floors and tables. I remember having conversations with the restaurant owner, and with some of the residents of this building, and they were about God, and about the fallout from the War, and about the next spiritual step for humankind. Heavy stuff, yes. Somewhat optimistic too, if you can believe that. And the night before I dreamt about missing someone--a woman, I think, although now that I push back to that place I think I was a woman in the dream, and missing someone else altogether--and I clutched onto this mailbox, sinking down to the ground, and I let out this gutteral scream that got louder and louder like a siren until my voice cracked and then there was an echoing silence. Hmm. And late last week I dreamt (inspired by my ponderings on the Bogeyman, I'm sure) about being inside this schoolhouse/office building/hotel-like place, and there were children running around (I don't recall if they were physically alive or "just" spirits at this point) and one little girl in a dress jumped over a banister and landed upright on her feet several stories below. But then this she-creature with long scraggly hair--and wearing an ugly mask--reached out and yanked this girl toward it/her and....I don't know. Ate her, murdered her, kidnapped her and held her captive. The thing's arms were bony, and it had pointed, long fingers. Are these dreams crazy or what? Quite the opposite of the previous week; it's too bad I don't remember any specifics from those dreams now because they've faded into my subconscious. I know I was comforted, and there was lots of light, and yummy food, and terrific conversations with people who all wished me and everyone else well. However contrary the kinds of dreams seem from one another, I also woke with a feeling of catharsis from each one (in different ways, though), like I'd gotten things out of my system that complemented each other in yin-and-yang ways. Hmm again.

The last few weeks have been all about "process" (and processing). I made a conscious choice not to write a diary/journal-style entry for a bit, just to let Life sink in. I did get a kick out of writing my Veronica Mars entry, and it meant a lot for me to post that poem in my previous post (I'd been fine-tuning that one for a while -- I'm still not 100% sure it's finished). There have been so many feelings and emotions sifting through me as of late -- both good and scary....I absolutely loved having Charlie come visit (I almost wanted to call this entry "Charlie," that's how much he means to me). He is such a swell guy, and such a guardian angel of mine. He truly captures the meaning of "Friend" with his warmth, insights, good-naturedness, and commitment. He inspires me....Mom and I had a great weekend with wine drinking, movie watching, furniture moving, dog loving, cat loving, nap taking, food eating, and hug giving. Those are the best kinds of weekends....Last Thursday Kathryn and I got together for beverages, appetizers, and chatting. She is one of my role models, and I love that she carries sassiness and sensitivity within her in the same breath. She is strong, but willing to be vulnerable; funny, but willing to form it from past sadness; loving, but willing to be angry and frustrated at injustice. She is a hard worker and SUCH a caretaker & caregiver. She just cares, period. Thank god for people like Kathryn....It sure has been weird to be missing Ben while he's been in St. Louis. He and I are such a part of each other's routine now that I feel his absence greatly. I am really proud of him, I must say, for finishing up with his college courses. He'll be able to walk away at the end of this week with his college degree. I'm also glad this trip has allowed him to spend some needed time with his mother and brother, and to take in St. Louis -- both the good and the bad parts. He said he's excited to come home, and I look forward to that first huge hug (with many to follow). I've enjoyed going over to his place to take care of Missy, his cat. Missy, as Ben says, is bipolar, which was evidenced yesterday while she sat on my lap. She let me pet her for a good 45 min., but then--in a heartbeat--she jumped up onto all fours and hissed at me with bared teeth like I'd done something wrong! She jumped to the ground, turned to me, and hissed some more! Oh well. Within a half-hour, while I lay in bed reading, she rejoined me (on the upswing, I guess) and cuddled near the black sheep blanket.

Speaking of reading, I've decided to take a break from fiction (although to me there's really no difference) and dive into non-fiction. I am reading Vincent Bugliosi & Curt Gentry's Helter Skelter, about the Charles Manson murders, and it time and again gives me chills. I've become a touch more paranoid while walking to me car, or unlocking the front door. The things people do to one another, and in the name of Jesus/God/religion/etc. It's so sad and fucked-up and terrifying (and look, it's going on now with the state of our country with its politics and economics -- I shudder at Creationism creeping its way into public schools, church and state melting more and more into a mixed blur, the greater chasm between the rich and poor and the slow disappearance of the middle class, President Bush claiming "God speaks to me" and tells him to do what he's doing. Yeah, Mr. President. I'm sure that's it.

Lately I've been haunted by this feeling of not knowing what comes next in my life. When will I finish the book I'm writing? What will be the next phase of my career life? What will keep the members of my family inspired? I know it's about taking deep breaths, and rolling with the punches, going with the flow, all that stuff. Easier said than done, though. I'm at this point in my life where, while I feel focused (maybe more than ever) I also feel that my non-psychic abilities only enable me to see so far. Not different than anybody else, I know, but still. If someone were to seriously ask me if I wanted to know the future, I would reply "No" without a moment's hesitation. So I suppose that says something right there. That, as always, Life is learning to live with Mystery. We can apply our own little baby steps and answers, but in the end it's about acceptance. Life is one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books. Each alternate ending holds purpose, wisdom, lessons. I'm curious what lessons are coming next, and in what shape, and this excites and frightens me. But fuck, what's new.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007



collect my ghosts off shelves
bury them in glycerin and clean me free
with a bar of soap or a napalm bomb
i’ve always been an extremist
for urban legends of nuclear families
for hands strong enough to catch the fall

how hard you grip my past and sponge it dry
how smock-like your smile
those latex gloves extra safety precautions
for a bleached jean Sunday, a moth-eaten afternoon
with picnics in the living room
my arsenal the size of childhood tent-castles

crawl inside with me
we’ll use His recliner as a turret
Tupperware bowl for our moat of tears
teddy bear soldiers to guard our monkey bar bridge
their missing eyes perfect excuses for the guillotine queen
to steals smokes in basements
curse dolphins tucked in sweatshirt pockets
hide kittens inside a restaurant’s picture frame

collect my ghosts off shelves:
keys that slip off rings before the battle of the trees
Barbie dolls for second floor brothers
scrapbooks with bloody thumbprints
and baskets without serpents
(they’re with the flute players at the ravine)

i’ll fill you up with m’s
mr. Merman, mr. Maid, not my mother
cup your hands and take these candies
these offerings a payment for your release
for a promise that choked the vine and cloaked the dust
my hood now up and ready, His shadow on my face

Copyrighted by Nathan Buck 2007