| parents are grown-ups | how the house flooded | i like the ones that take the time to say hi | start over |

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Thursday, February 10, 2005

the last thing i do each night is walk around the whole city and see if i run into anything great.
dreams still utterly weird from the couches.

i'm in this mood where i kinda want to sleep around. i'm in this mood where i kinda want to seriously roll around in a tangled-up mess of clothes and no clothes and such. its summer. where are my very good friends.


Saturday, January 15, 2005

i'm in love with all the cokeheads.


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

i found these (pictures missing) buried into the website. they are from 2001, when we sublet charley's house, which had furniture and a television and a bed in the living room that we'd sometimes sleep on instead of our own bed. before this home we had shared a tiny closet of a room on main street, where all of nicholas's national geographics and airplane books and amplifiers were stacked into precarious sculptures that teetered over our little mattress which i'd read books on and worry that i'd made a grave mistake to fly home this time, and wait for him to finish drinking free drinks and paving the way for future affairs with the girls at the bar, the left-at-home-and-waiting archetype. did you know i used to be a girl that was left at home
at some point i said there is no room for my objects among your objects here in our little closet. i've joined the clutter like a souvenir doll and i 'd like to remind you that i am a girl who takes up space. we have to find a whole apartment to hold us, we are an intense and frightening people---
in the new house, which came with an unimaginable cleaniness we could not break, i learned how to make websites
everything fell apart really badly around then. the apartment was so well-furnished that we tried desperately to behave like grown-ups, and neither of us was any good at it. he watched alot of television and sometimes we'd fall asleep on the futon instead of our bed and i hate television. because of these dark days.


Saturday, December 25, 2004

the guest room slash library slash stereo room.
laurie and i would put on records and jump on the guest bed.


Monday, September 06, 2004

dear karen horner, i collided with history and it shook me to the core. i wish i were in philadelphia, removed from all things. six of us are getting a richmond warehouse with an address that is only a fraction (1/2 east marshall street), where we will have three cavernous floors of: ramps and craze. and then i'll push all my books and boxes of cut-apart clothes into one more, one more, one more space. this is new but potent. but meanwhile, in another goddamn universe: oh karen, i collided with history and pushed it down onto the sheets. i pressed my memories tight against the real thing and it didn't make any sense at all. real people with realness, with for-real past events. karen, i'm addicted to stories but i want all the editing power. my head's in a state. the past is real. its so ridiculous. if i had the money for a bus and the rest then i'd be at your doorstep tonight. richmond can't stop breaking my heart. even if things turn round in a way that i'd like, in a way that'd get me hot nights and art and discussion, in a way that'd get me some epic release from the 20-year-old multiverse, catapult me onto a balcony up away from the terrible mess i've made on the streets below, it would scare me to death and back. last thursday i said to luke, i have 36 hours to make my self substantial again. i'm afraid of staying here and watching the world circle in circles like it does. its one thing to say: the world moves in circles. but its something altogther different to have the circles circle back and fold into one another like you can't even stomach! before your eyes!
your friend,


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

1. like most little girls, the sisters had many---
2. each child planned and kept her own garden.
3. she, too, was named after her birthplace.
4. ---often restless and unhappy.

* * *

i'm drinking eight glasses of water a day

my body is ivy, crawling up the walls


Saturday, July 17, 2004

the metal-eating bird.
the tall stories club.

slake was born an orphan at the age of thirteen, small, nearsighted, dreaming, bruised, an outlander in the city of his birth (and in the world), a lad of shifting fitful faith with a token in his pocket
felice holman slake's limbo

i found it.
mr rafalko read it to us in sixth grade as we read along at our desks, answering comprehension questions and multiple choice quizzes. its about this boy who is poor and bullied and sad and goes a little crazy, and runs away to hide in the subway. he keeps imagining that a bird has flown down his throat in his sleep and wants to get out. the concepts were haunting me the last few weeks, and i could not remember the name of the book, and the ladies at barnes and noble ran keywords through their computers as i spun fragments of plotlines from the bottom of my memories. and then she looked up and said slake's limbo? and it was so, so resonant


Friday, April 30, 2004

1. challenging death
2. capture the flag on the island/ lord of the flies
3. a moment before omovo heard the shot a violent beating of wings just above him scared him from his hiding place. he ran through the forest screaming.
4. because a fire was in my head
5. convents and vows of silence
6. cut grasses
7. the way ben okri describes the heat
8. the rocking horse winner


Wednesday, April 28, 2004


Thursday, April 22, 2004

when we lived at 318/320 harrison through the hot summers, sticky and unbelievably restless at midnight or so, nicholas and i would go on a date down the street to 7-11 for slurpies and along the way we'd run headlong into all the gossip, our city as a newpaper story, a crowd of punks gleefully describing with pointing arms how only an hour before the frat over there had been firebombed, and our life was cozy and domesticated, we lived together like an awful mistake but took such care of each other---! we'd cook dinners for one another and get each other drunk and wash each other's hair and it is that, reader, that was the best part. the nougat center of those years.

i wish for someone to take care with sometimes


Monday, March 01, 2004

my favorites.
writers who don't know they are, the ones that are always falling hard and do not hurt themselves somehow, guitar players who would rather play drums, handholders and telephoners and letter-ers, vodka drinkers, those that invite me on adventures, kids on bikes in the night, the ones that are leaving the very next day, the ones that like to go for walks, the ones that can sing entire songs and will do so, the make-out artists, the drawers, the virginia-bred, the ones that wake up in the middle of the night gasping with strange dreams and immediately will begin describing them with a curious urgency, the ones that want to read minds and the kids that say yes


Sunday, February 29, 2004

needing time away archetype

1. in the winter of 1996 i housesat for karen at the apartment in the center of the city. it was on the tenth floor then, although later they moved to a lower floor i think. i was all alone and developed this obsession with the building catching on fire. how would i get out the two cats, the caged rat and myself, and then keep ahold of us all, out in the freezing cold, waiting for the firetrucks? and what if the apartment burnt irrevokably down, to cinders and crumbling ash? i didn't know anyone in the city. i was so all alone that i had started singing songs to myself for conversation when i walked home from the big library every evening. it was cold. on new years day there was a parade. i went dancing at the goth clubs by myself, and then at night would not sleep and think about the apartment burning down, and rescuing the pets. later, i started sleeping for 15-18 hours a day and looked forward to dreams during the few hours i was awake and wandering the city.

2. in the winter of 1997 i was walking home from chapter arts cinema listening to a mixtape with large headphones and came across a car ablaze in the alleyway. the street girls gemma and the one whose name i never learned were watching it and leaning against each other. when i stepped a few steps towards it, gemma rested her chin on my shoulder, exactly like the duchess in alice in wonderland. two firemen ran past us carrying a hose. i asked gemma, what happened and she shook her head.

in cardiff i would:
- eat chocolate bars
- draw sketches of the stone animals that lined the castle walls
- travel to scotland in a fit, noticing the train and then jumping on without a thought, and then walk slowly through edinburgh, thinking about how huge the world was, stopping inside churches, and sleep eventually on a hillside and then a few hours later in a youth hostel where i met german kids in the kitchen and drank tea with oatmeal milk
- walk along the river
- ride the train to newport without paying for it, to visit rory, or see a show, or watch the clock statue that would pretend to fall apart every half hour
- go to the boot sale on saturday mornings and buy useless things, and then eat pasties from the jamaican place on the way home
- walk through department stores on the way to college and put on expensive perfume
- take my picture in the photobooth for a pound
- write letters
- take pictures. 120mm
- sit in the tv room pretending to be bored when julian was visiting my roommate, but watch him sideways the whole time, and get shivery when he looked at me

3. in the winter of 1998, we used to have parties, and i would wear dresses, and had no worries at all, and would play hostess, and find blankets for the drunken and the sleepers at the end of the night, and light cigarettes on the stove, and shoot videos with the school's cameras which were large and heavy on your shoulder. nicholas would write lesson plans on the computer in the middle room and grab for my waist whenever i walked past him. shawn would paint and smoke, we had ancient spices leftover from jon arp living there that hung along a string in little bags throughout the kitchen, we would cook tofu, drink vodka from the freezer, jamie cut her hair shorter and shorter, and we would all draw each other at walker's house, and walker would hide in his room and slowly quit me, the way muna has quit me. everything in my apartment glittered. i built pinhole cameras from cigar boxes. it doesn't matter. it doesn't matter.


Monday, February 23, 2004

the three boys i was in love with as a child that are now dead.
1. timmy taylor. i was in love with him throughout first and second grade, 1984-6, because he could run faster than me in gym class. he died in 1993.
2. joey pinciero. i was in love with him in five and sixth grade, 1988-9, during the friday GT class, because he could draw better than me and was sarcastic-minded. he dies in 1993 as well.
3. nate maddox. i was in love with him in ninth grade, 1991. one day we rode the late bus home and i asked him what he was listening to on his walkman and he said something snide and sneering. i was heartbroken and tried to avoid him in the halls. last year i was searching google for the date of the lightning bolt show and discovered that he has been killed on a rooftop in new york in 2002.


Sunday, February 22, 2004

the story of the baby that was left squalling on a blanket, in the sunshine, in our front yard.
the story of the girl who lived off of bread crusts, chilled white wine and swallowed love.
the story of the fifteen ghosts.
the story of the impossible bicycle and its unfortunate rider.
the story of the particular chords that make all of us unable to look at one another.



Wednesday, February 11, 2004

"but I forgot to mention the dream I had the other
night, where I had a baby, and kitten, and I got them
5 minutes apart from each other, and I didnt know what
to do, and my parents where there, and I ran to the
store to go get formula and tuna fish, and the kitten
was all wet and matted but grew in size before my eyes,
and the baby was the one that ate the tunafish and the
kitten was the one that ate the formula."


Tuesday, February 10, 2004


Thursday, February 05, 2004

at the end of may of the year-i-learned-what-years-were, i had a birthday party where i wore a blue sundress with pink and green flowers and white kneesocks and brown maryjanes with large gold buckles; in attendance were myself and my sister lorelei, and leah kadolph, leah beneke, kristy fisher, karen perlman, sandy perlman, david venefro, david frear, jaqueline ?, elizabeth stark, and gina cravato. i was in love with david frear but my mama would not let me invite him unless i invited another boy "so he isn't uncomfortable" and i didn't really have any other boys in mind so we decided on david v., who's mom taught me piano and lived three doors down from us. he was in the other kindergarden class.


the sustained expectation of violence
cities that grow like networks of veins and branches.
blood omens. feeling real heart-frozen, everything meaningful.
"you wanna be like mustard but you cant ketchup"

A: i get just as ridiculed for what i am wearing as a grownup in high school as what i wore as a highschooler. maybe more so.
A: i fucking hate all this Elements of Literature bullshit!


Wednesday, February 04, 2004

1. the world of worldly delights
2. the open hand
3. 1989
4. certainties in huge colors
5. i build a look
6. the sky the moon lost
7. he will go away and i won't lose any sleep over it
8. water towers


Sunday, February 01, 2004

i can show you no mercy said the king your husband was not only ready to be buried and die with you but he used the means which restored you to life and you have murdered him while he slept and shall receive the reward you so truly merit then was she with her accomplice placed in a boat full of holes and driven out to sea where they were soon overwhelmed in the waves and drowned


Thursday, December 25, 2003

carpets, thousands of baskets
tea cups and children occupy the hills
nizar qabbani

and conjoined twins


Thursday, December 04, 2003

Date: 12/3/2003 18:24:14 -0500
De: "anda"
À: jimstraub@riseup.net
Sujet: Re: i'm i'm i'm i'm
Tous les en-têtes

oh jim. you fucking took all the warmth and didnt leave anyone any.
andrew's email is ______________. my window house is made of
cracking where everyone throws rocks to get us to let them inside where
it is then very very cold from their rock throwing; i should cry; last
night at the show i got hit in the eyeball with somebody's body and
blood came down my cheek where jessie kelly rubbed her finger to wipe
it off as we talked. all the first graders asked what was wrong with my
face and i said, when you speak you need to raise your hands (and
thought, richmond 2 is going to be built from thick sweaters and
clutched arms and icy cold breezes and painfully frozen fingers and
toes and visible breaths on the corners) cause i can't hear you unless
you raise your hand. i am deaf to unacknowledged speakers, i say. no,
can't hear you. sorry

jim, i like you better as a cooresponder. that is. i like my idea of
what cooresponding will be like, i meant. maybe its the deleting and
erasing and minus our interrupting; we are skilled interrupters; lets
immediately commence idealizing our friendship and turn everything
absolutely into written words so it is totally unreal and made up into
an incredible story. i know you like that.

once upon a time, quilmes bock sounds good, but only if you are allowed
to pronounce it "kill-mess box" which is how it looks. like. how if you
shoot somebody and it get everywhere and maybe their...arm...
(?)...falls away, you would save all the BLOODY MURDER in the kill mess
box. yuck. i am sorry i even brought it up. i am at munas. she lured us
here, andrew and i, promising food, like a fairy tale witch, but we
speculated she only wanted us for dish duty and now i can hear her
directing andrew towards the sink. her email is ______________. at
munas house you have to wash dishes to get dishes to cook in. it is a
backwards cycle. a sort of process...like...you know, backwards
processes. i am not so good today. i'm tired and...i'm a fucking
dinosaur body tday. talk to you soon. don't have too much fun or you'll
run out of it


p.s., a short play

* * *
(in the kitchen)
andrew: punk rock is boring you???
muna: (unintelligible murmur)
andrew: punk rock boy? which one??
lafff: (walking into this room and addressing me) DID YOU PUT DRUGS IN
* * *


Sunday, October 05, 2003

"she must get to have sex all the time."
"yeah. its not fair! i want to have sex all the time!!"

"she learned how to ejaculate."
"ohhhhhh! i want to learn how to ejaculate!"


Monday, September 29, 2003

i am losing the battle for just being friends. i get up and pull on teacher skirts with tights and hop around the room like a six-year-old, singing fragments of the songs the alarm clock sang earlier---but very quietly so as to not wake the boy---throwing glances at his moppet hairdo and sleeping posture and wrist covered in my wristbands and can't stop myself from holding my hands over my mouth with full-hearted delight at the fact that it is springtime and there is the boy, right there, asleep.


Monday, September 01, 2003


Sunday, June 29, 2003

opal diamond emerald sapphire pearl garnet PLAY-PARTY everyone's at the bonfire. i have this woken-up feeling i get alot lately. like i am asleep in the lotus field and sometimes get a tiny glimpse. it comes from out of the fragments: this messy girl behind me sits down and says to someone else i was so hungry, i went home and had some food and its so weirdly resonant and insignificant and plain and just like some other time and place, the art building, grace street and bars and clubs and the peopled streets, oh richmond i want to cry, i have been here so so so so so so so so sos so so long, that every second vibrates with memories and associations, and i don't want everything in layers anymore, and i am scared, and i feel like i will be utterly adrift forever, and

listen to me, i am miserable. i am drying up here. i am leaving you. because you are killing me. the story of the girl who grows weak and dead from staying still. the story of the hands caught up in the complicated pattern. the story of the shimmering party and the shimmering people, and that which makes you feel so alone and dead and empty and fucking lost. i was so fucking excited when i looked into the mirror with those grey contact lenses and did not recognize myself. last night i rode a bike around the streets that are named after states and it was just like some other time and i said to myself what have you done? where has your fucking world gone to? what have you done to yourself? and at what cost? i don't recognize my thoughts, my methods, my days, my anything.

what has fucking happened!


Thursday, June 19, 2003

unloading fragments from last years journals

june 19

dear ___________,

it's a strange day; i had it mostly to myself and maybe that is why. i always get depressed when left alone too long in the day time, and i still crave it terribly anyway. today i cleaned the house slowly and bathed and listened to fevers and mirrors and daydreamed over the songs. i will change my life, i thought to myself. i will write letters, take photographs again; i walked to MCV library to use the internet, hoping andrew would be in a good mood; we walked home together and he wasn't. i shared my umbrella, i said, i hoped you'd be in a good mood. he talked about how richmond's downtown is a rotting corpse; i looked into empty storefronts and swung my arms happily---i am delighted to be walking and to have someone else around that is sadder---it rained harder, always pointed towards us. hair drip drip and bangs flat across my forehead in strings. i will read r.d. laings's self and others, i will write letters. listen to the songs again, maybe twice more if andrew will have it. stories and remembering what i love, like old books and symbolism and drinking. and you.


malaga is warm and nighttime and no de la guerra posters and i feel like i could stay here and disappear. warm nights. walking. it always seems like one could walk and walk and walk through the night and let it all run out (your time, like using pay-by-the-mintues internet in cafes) ----just walk and walk and then disappear, with no pain or struggle or acknowledgement of vanishing. slip into the sidewalk. what was that book about the boy that lived in the subway tunnels and never came out? you seriously need to find that book and re-read it. and write damian emails. today is nicholas's 25th birthday.


paper games

meaningless dreams
starving eyes
ghosts everywhere
cars driving into the sun
new cities
tea, coffee, basil

something feverish. awake late, haunted. the hurricane at all the windows.
i'm allowing myself to get lost and need very much to stop. i am escaping. i am forgetting things. i'm unaware.
i care about things!

the things we can't share with each other. everything. perception and communication.


Monday, May 26, 2003

bloodletting instruments
epidemic influenza
cephalopagus monosomian
and the tocci brothers married sisters and lived in seclusion for 43 years.
perfect attendance pin
battleship toy
nuts and seeds
two million safety pins
jeweled brooches


Monday, March 24, 2003

better bourbon for young mothers
i had to use up the rest of a roll of high contrast slide film so while wandering around taking pictures of ugly things and feeling mildly how richmond no longer loves me, i have obviously betrayed her, i found the sunflowers that grow between strawberry street and the cement park and thought, i will make it up to everything someday, somehow apologize in some apt way, while at that moment focusing the camera closer and closer and closer, i am a courageous creature creeping among monsters; last night at 4:41 i woke up abruptly and fast began a groggy frantic search for pain medicine, throwing up orange juice and BC powder and crying angrily at the bottom of the bathtub and briefly thinking about how you were missing this; "today it is up to you to create the peacefulness you long for" i ate the only fortune cooky in the house, made buckwheat pancakes from the mix that is still here, felt sad and made my way on buses to barnes and noble where i sat for hours reading erotica and biting my lip


Wednesday, January 15, 2003

tremendous powers


Monday, August 19, 2002

in the summer of 1994, i slept with a boy named christe dhosi lazo.
no. in the summer of 1994, i went to art summer school because my family had been extra extra poor that school year and so i qualified to go for 16 dollars. i know it was 16 dollars because i saw a form somewhere with the amounts for the poor and extra poor and the full-price students where the usual cost was 405 dollars. i had a car then, a used ford tempo that was scab-colored and dusty and half-broken and my granny had bought it for me after i ran away from home because she felt i must not be getting enough freedom if i was running off like i did. and i drove it and drove it and drove it, long secret drives to other states and other neighborhoods, just to take a look at them, parks and quiet suburbs and deserted historic towns and sometimes virginia beach because i was born there and like to sit by myself in the dark on the actual beach part and listen to the ocean and think, somehow i have a connection to this and i wonder where virginia beach hospital is, where our apartment is, where that preschool with the blacktop asphalt playground is; i'd sneak away and explore and i did this until the car fell to bits, or dissolved, or i moved to richmond to be collegiate. but before this happened, i woke up every day in august and collected the following girls: anne-marie aubin, leigh baker and zoe palma. we fit precisely in my car as Four. the book amnesia by douglas cooper was my favorite then and a library copy was shoved in between the carseats and everyone would take turns reading it as the month went by.
we had art summer school together and there was one class where the only thing we did was sit and talk with one another with drawing boards on our laps and hands inky or chalky or wet with acrylic and there was a boy who sort of walked all floppy and awkwardly who had a class down the hall and so was always stopping in and would lean over my shoulder and ask pointless questions and hover and look at the floor and say overly dramatic things and say sad goth things and say hilarious things to me all day.
march espedido was my grown-up-est, artist-est friend whose mother was never home and spent whole nights away and march would drive us all to dc and we'd dance at the gay clubs there. her house was the best because we'd eat mangos and her bed was magnetized so that it made your back feel loose when you woke up after sleeping over. and one weekend we drove to alexandria to eat picnic foods in the middle of old town in the center of the night, she had collected chris from somewhere and he was in the backseat sitting next to me with our legs pressed togther because there were a million people in the car with us but i could not separate my mind from our legs touching like this


Sunday, May 26, 2002

catch a bus at seven am to berlin, which never works for me. berlin.

i love seeing films in an unfamiliar language.
i was just talking instant messenger with a friend and now all i can think about is how my house is probably collasping right now. the image of the cats galloping away, like animals fleeing a forest fire. stephen would be at the garden, playing chess with andrew bourne, and would come home later and stand blinking in disbelief at the rubble. i know this is not about prague, but i have reaching the point in travelling where all your dreams are a hodgepodge of old friends and houses you lived in when you were eight.


Tuesday, October 02, 2001


Thursday, September 09, 1999

seamstresses and mail-order brides, the trip down broad rock road on a bicycle, "taking drawing lessons would be no use whatsoever"; houseplants and hothouses and greenhouses, how the invalid girl lays in a soft soft bed and shrinks from the flowers surrounding her; the mystery of swallowed love, minty ice cream spooned straight from the container, but her life, for her, is at some remote distance, she could hardly say where,


Monday, March 08, 1999

when we watched the television together and i tried to pretend like i could follow what it was i was looking at but the truth is, i have no talent for televsion watching, and i just wanted to reach out my fingers and wrap up your fingers tightly and so i stared at my knees and at the television and concentrated on making my breathing steady and quiet


Monday, March 01, 1999

when he said, quietly, are you coming in here?
i thought my heart would fucking stop.


i heart blogger. beacuse blogger makes it happen.

controlccontrolv 2004