Thursday, January 31, 2008

snow angels

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

cardboard graves

cardboard graves

i’ll tuck your sweaters in cardboard graves
save envelopes, return the fear
four corners meet at Beggars’ Street
this cardboard kills your mission here:
to alchemize, rewind your words

the art of sex goes back in drawers
corded belts to choke the sane
unpause your war and name your barb
wire cuts the skin, tells weathered veins:
this Lion eager for Lamb to roar

i’ll fit your things with cardboard wings
sing flights of songs to shred these years
away, my pain, no lovers’ gain
the weight of cuts, those paper tears:
i sit with ’sticks as sharp as knives

cookies furled our fortunes gold
told of the ways you went away
the harvest killed the smell of you
your triggers clicked, the ending stayed:
no garlands for our wedding day

Copyrighted by Nathan Buck 2008

the feeling of 2008 so far

Alice Sweet Alice

Why haven't I seen this movie yet? I have the VHS tape, and -- my dear Christina -- I sense an '80s style horror movie night coming to us soon, courtesy of your VCR player.

Here's the description:
When ten-year-old Karen (Brooke Shields) is killed in church on the occasion of her first communion, her seemingly innocent older sister Alice (Paula Sheppard) becomes the prime suspect. Matters become complicated as more of Alice's family members are attacked, along with residents of her apartment building. Can a twelve-year-old girl be capable of such mayhem, or is someone else with a vicious plan destroying her family? ALICE SWEET ALICE features a surprising amount of bloodletting along with a heavy dose of Catholic iconography. This was the first (albeit brief) screen appearance for Shields. The film is alternately known as Communion and Holy Terror.

Catholic imagery? Bloody dolls with knives stabbed through them? Creepy masks? Demented siblings? What have I been missing?!?!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

just say yes

Friday, January 25, 2008

date me?

Dear Mr. Scott Speedman,

I fell in love with you when you played Ben on Felicity. (I was originally a Noel fan, but your darker, more elusive nature won me over with its Freudian, more subtle psychological undertones.) Your role in the Underworld films only further solidified my lust (err, I mean love) for you. I have a Charlotte Martin T-shirt that says, "I'm Normal, Please Date Me." If I wear this shirt for you, will you respond with a resounding yes? Now, I know you're straight, but that's just a minor detail, and seeing as I invite drama into my Life on a regular basis, I'm totally open to negotations.

I hope to hear from you soon, Mr. Speedman, and best wishes for a great 2008.

Peace and Pinches,
Mr. Nathan Buck

p.s. I've long been on the hunt for a "Ben or Noel?" T-shirt. I know they're out there. Please send one my way. I wear a size medium.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Missy Higgins and her music came into my life right at a moment when I needed them to. Here's a link below for her video "Steer" and, in Missy's own words, her inspiration for the song:

"A lot of the songs on the last album were written from fairly dark places but 'Steer' is really the opposite of that", explains Missy. "It was inspired by a realisation I had one night on the beach, looking up at this amazingly clear sky above me. It dawned on me how small we are, how short life is and how ridiculous it therefore is to spend any of it feeling compromised or unfulfilled. I felt so liberated to have finally figured that out and the song 'Steer' just kind of fell out of that moment."

And I also stumbled upon Pela's 7th & 17th on youtube, and it in part captures my mood these days:

Monday, January 21, 2008


No, I'm not referring to the title of the early Christopher Pike book, but instead to the last couple days. On Saturday Karla and I went to a photography art exhibit by Alicia J. Rose ( at a gallery in town called Grass Hut. Alicia's current exhibit focused on the retelling of three classic Brothers Grimm faerietales. Picture: a ten-year-old girl who looks twenty, drag queens playing the parts of the Evil Queen and the Seven Deadly Sins, a sexy wolf man, and a really hot black man as the Woodsman, all decked out in lamb's fur and piercings, holding a giant axe. The highlight for Karla and me was the book report done by the little girl playing Snow White. There we were, debating whether the model was a girl or a pixie-ish twentysomething, when the nice guy working there said, "She's ten! Check out her book report!" We flipped it open to her squiggly, big-penciled writing, with (paraphrased) sentences like, "It was fun to dress up with all those guys...I felt scared at first but the boys dressed as girls made it okay", or "...I liked wearing the makeup, but I got bored at the poisoned apple part and could not wait until we sat by the bonfire."

Yesterday, Julie and I went to the third annual Siren Nation ( all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. All proceeds went to supporting women in the arts, particularly in music, and I took full advantage of the vegan and gluten-free pancakes, maple syrup, homemade strawberry marmalade, real butter, and chocolate chips. Right as we were finishing eating (Julie ate, I stuffed my face) the sun cracked through and lit up Alberta Street. Julie and I spent a couple hours shopping and bopping around. We stopped in this new awesome gallery called the Together Gallery (, where I was fascinated by artwork by Pony Graves; one piece of art was a child's coffin decorated in darkish purples, with a young dark-haired girl hovering on the front of it in stark paint.

I've had funny dreams the last two nights (and a horrible bought of insomnia last night). On Saturday night I dreamt I had a small part in the new Sex and the City movie, and S.J. and I took a break to grab a Starbucks across the street from the set. Last night I dreamt that Missy Higgins, one of my fave singers, and I had become friends, and she was chillin' in Portland with a nice mix of both of our friends. I even woke up a couple times but fell back asleep to more Ms. Higgins hang time. At work today, while feeling down and talking about it with Alison, she put on Missy's "Unbroken" for me, which seemed just perfect. I have a special secret moment associated with that song, and somehow Alison tapped into my heart and played it for me.

p.s. The below artwork for the previous post is from the upcoming comic book anthology based on Tori Amos songs called Comic Book Tattoo ( Note that Rantz A. Hoseley was the inspiration for Tori's "Flying Dutchman" and the title of said anthology.

i believe in peace, bitch

Saturday, January 19, 2008


What's with me and water lately? Between Charlotte Martin's new album Reproductions and Alanis Morissette's new video Underneath, I'm being told something, aren't I? Check out Alanis's new video:


Check out this amazing trailer for the British TV show Skins. Thanks to Charlie for passing this on. Can't wait to check this show out:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mood of the Day

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


We all have six senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste, and some version or another of ESP).

I think smell captures a moment best, and brings up memories the most easily, and allows our smiles and tear ducts to flow most efficiently. Yesterday I was packing up a box of his things, and I breathed in the smell of his clothes--triggers went off, he went off, and sadness at having to fold these things and tuck them in a cardboard grave--and I just lost it and had to rest for a while and sit on the ground and cry. It felt really, really good, and I couldn't help but think of that scene in American Beauty where Annette Benning's character goes into her closet and wraps her arms around his clothes, and pulls them to her in a giant heap of emotion and just falls into them. I once talked about that scene with Callie, and she told me she had a similar experience when her brother died....

So, here I am, with this beautiful video from Goldfrapp to share with you. It's called "A & E", and thank you to Charlie for passing it along. It is indeed very Twin Peaks-y, as he described it (there's even a quick cameo from an owl), and it matches what I'm feeling and experiencing. I especially hope that Jordan and Kristin watch this: I think you two will adore it. And Jordan, maybe you can pass it on to Erika?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Every Time It Rains

I thought you'd all like this music video:

Quote of the Day

"One should guard against preaching to young people success in the customary form as the main aim in life. The most important motive for work in school and in life is pleasure in work, pleasure in its result, and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community."

Thursday, January 10, 2008


The last few nights I've fallen into the deepest of sleeps, almost zombie-like states of unconciousness. And my dreams have been filled with weirdness and light, blasts from the past(s) and strange angels and bizarre hotels. Yesterday (for the second or third night in a row) I ended up in this dormitory-slash-hotel-slash-restaurant-slash-mall. For part of the dream I was in this living room/apartment, visiting with relatives from the Buck side of the family (this room always looks the same, yellow walls and bland carpet) and I saw my cousin, L. She'd just adopted a baby, and right after that she found out she was pregnant. She and her husband K were worried about the financial part of it all, and afraid to tell my Aunt B, but L was also filled with light and love. L is such a maternal, graceful presence on this earth. Really. Just a gem. I'm sure this part of the dream was inspired by an email sent to me by M yesterday about another cousin's recent adoption. Then the dream changed, melted into something else....became the above mentioned hotel-y place....I was on vacation with (let's call him) "X", and we'd checked into our hotel and then gone walking along the boardwalk. I was scared to get to near the water because I saw all the sharks swimming down below (also inspired by a shark conversation I had with someone yesterday). Then time jumped a bit....I was walking through the halls of this place....stopping in at people's rooms, seeing new (old?) faces....The grounds of this place are dusky and filled with shadows and beautiful flowers and fresh, soft air....Now we get to the part that really sticks with me. I'm supposed to meet X at the restaurant inside the hotel--we have reservations--but when I get there, X is late, so I'm told I can sit down by myself. Everything was jumpin' at this place: candles glowed on all the tables, staff dressed up in masquerade outfits and laughed and entertained and played music and performed magic. They greeted me and asked me to join them, and I spent my time watching and appreciating. Then I'm at my table, and X shows up late with a stranger, and suddenly some of the magic is gone from the place, almost like X has uninvited it. The costumed, almost Midsummer Night's Dream vibe has dissipated, and--while the food is still yummy and the service great and everything totally acceptable, even elegant--there's just some spark/energy/potion that has picked up and moved on (but still close, hovering lovingly). I woke up deep in thought, and missing my masked entertainers, wondering what they're up to and looking forward to spending more time with them.

The New Year sure has kicked off with a bang. I recently used the term "soul-busy" in an email to my brothers, and I think that's pretty accurate. While I might've in the past seen the last couple weeks as "dramatic" I now see them as cathartic. Something being purged, gently. Monday at work I was on an outing with some participants, and one of my participants collapsed backwards into my arms and the arms of another client. I went into this Zen-like, Mr. Miyagi wax-on-wax-off state of being as I dealt with: 911; my client's shortness of breath and pale skin and unconsciousness; riding in the ambulance with him; making sure his needs and his son's needs were being met at the hospital. And all day Monday and Tuesday these little signs of the Universe kept presenting themselves to me like tiny gifts of Right Time, Right Place awesomeness. My client is okay -- more than okay, actually. And I'm okay too. I've written some letters to old friends, and asked myself what took me so long. I've hung out with Ollie and Luna and felt that kind of unconditional love that only pets can seem to offer. I've created fragments of poems in my head and heart that feel like arrows piercing through veils. I've written to my brothers, not thinking about what I was going to write, just pouring myself into my words. And last but certainly not least I've taken my muse securely by the hand and said, "I'm ready. I'm here. Let's go."

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Today (Them)

Today (Me....and Many Others)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Quote of the Day

“With the unknown, there can be a feeling of reticence, but that in itself can be sexy.”
-- Tori Amos

[Reticence, from Reticent
Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary

Main Entry: ret·i·cent
Pronunciation: \-sənt\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin reticent-, reticens, present participle of reticēre to keep silent, from re- + tacēre to be silent — more at tacit
Date: circa 1834
1 : inclined to be silent or uncommunicative in speech : reserved
2 : restrained in expression, presentation, or appearance
3 : reluctant
synonyms see silent
— ret·i·cent·ly adverb

Friday, January 04, 2008


Good Tori article to kick off 2008

You should all read this piece of writing by Tori. It will get you inspired and driven:

Shores of Avalon

Today I was listening to one of the mix CDs I made for B. Paula Cole's "Hush, Hush, Hush" came on, followed by Tina Malia's "Shores of Avalon," and both these songs are about death and rebirth, and here I was in Tiny's Coffeeshop, writing and looking over at the family inside with me. (I was the first one there when the doors opened at 6AM.) The father works at Tiny's and his wife sometimes comes in and reads the paper while he works. They recently had a baby, and it's been fun to see them excited during the pregnancy and now excited with the addition of their little one (a daughter, I believe). She had her baby with them, and she (he?) was in the lil' carrying thing (can you tell I don't have children? I don't even know what those things are called). The baby was warm and cozy with a cute quilt over her, so she was protected from the lights of the coffeeshop. It was such a touching moment, the music and the baby, and I can't help thinking that I feel emotional--in a good way--as 2008 kicks off. It's been a doozy of a few days. You all know that Austin, the family cat, passed away, and then on New Year's Day, Mom and I were moving Xmas boxes downstairs and she missed a step and fell down and sprained her ankle. We spent a chunk of Jan. 1st in the Providence ER. But Mom's healing well, very quickly actually, and we were both incredibly impressed with the love and care and efficiency of all the Providence staff at the NE Glisan location.

I've been hearing songs, glimpsing moments, catching sights, that are wowing me. Even as I lay on the floor of the NE Fremont Bikram yoga studio on New Year's Day (they have a class to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon every New Year's Day) my sweat and the smells in the air reminded me of sand and beaches and Michigan and summer. It was a truly lovely feeling.

Gretchen -- I just got your email about your accident! Everyone -- my friend Gretchen was just in a car accident. She's doing well, but does have to recover from a broken arm and some other nasty yuckiness. Gretchen -- you are such a giving, warm soul. I am going to call you today and check in with you. Everyone, please keep Gretchen in your thoughts.

Happy Friday,

p.s. Speaking of families, I am headed to Bridge City Comics today to pick up the next issue of Buffy. Michael and Kamarin, who run the place, also just had a baby. Michael and Kamarin give off such a trusting, safe, fresh vibe when you go into the comic book store. You can just tell they love Life, love their daughter, and love comic books. I look forward to each visit when I pick up Buffy and Angel, and I get excited to be collecting comics again, the memories flooding back to me of Lemont and AJ Beckert and my huge Dark Horse collection of Alien comics from back in the day. AJ and I used to walk down to the local mini-mart, the one next to the yummy gyro and pizza puff place, and peruse the comics and magazines. My first comic ever? Issue #7 of Excalibur.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


I was writing this morning, and on a roll, and while re-reading some of my paragraphs in the section of my story I tucked my hands into my skull-dog hoodie's pockets. I felt something in the right pocket and pulled it out -- it was the ladybug that Ben had given me, the little chocolate one still wrapped up, so cute, even with its now missing paper leg. I am so happy to find the little guy. I was wondering where he'd disappeared to. I have this habit of pocketing objects and discovering them, with fresh wonder, later. Another scenario? Ben and I had been to Astoria for the day, and on our way back stopped at a cemetery in the middle of the woods. It was up this winding gravel road, on a hillside, and the tombstones dated way, way back. There were fresh flowers, wilted flowers, and--lost in the wet, dirty grass--a flower made of some kind of fabric, polyester or suede or something. The flower had been ripped from its stem, its bouquet, and looked so lonely just hanging out in the rain. So I picked it up and--you got it--tucked it away. About two months ago I was having a bad day and, as I often do, made my hands into gentle fists and snuggled them away in another hoodie. When I felt the flower I knew immediately what it was, and I had this big ol' grin on my face when I pulled it out and looked at its pink petals. It now sits in my bedroom, on the CD booklet of Patty Griffin's Impossible Dream, because to me it fits in perfectly with the artwork.