Follow @covillanueva c.o. villanueva in time and space: September 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I look down from the bridge & see how shallow the water is.
Diluted chocolate, flowing southward, to the sea.

That was a Sunday over a year ago.
I went for a walk because I didn’t want to think.
I sat in a blackened river park & watched shadows go by.
The city, the lights on in the buildings, twinkling snowflakes.
I got up to go home but couldn’t move.
I remembered the people who lived under the bridge.
They all had blue tarps & were always cooking.
Smoke from their camps rose up to where I was looking down.
I made my way down the bridge & toward home.
Cars went by me like cattle being driven, somewhere.
All I needed were raindrops, cause I like walking home in the rain.
I walked through a park where two men were arguing.
Old, long beards, dirty clothes. One had a bicycle & went away.
The other sat on a bench, making little clouds, suckling a can.
I got back onto pavement & worked my way home.
And then fell onto my futon.

Friday, September 4, 2009

hard, not soft

I always seem to write when I walk. And I never write drunk, or at least it's stuff I don't want to read. But I haven't had a drink all day & I want to get through the night without the nightly ritual of going to konbini (convenience store) & buying chuhi's (sweetened Japanese liquor; tastes like juice but gets you drunk). I don't know what I'm going to do tonight. But I don't want to do that.

About walking: I had some time to kill during lunch. Usually I go to the pond. But today I just went where my body wanted to go. I made a circle around my building & didn't want to come back. I thought, the pond. Then my body turned right instead & I walked toward the baseball field.

(I know this sucks but I haven't written in five months. I was drunk, etc. etc., that time.)

Then I saw her car. It was parked there once before, the same spot. It seemed obvious. Like a message slipped under the door at night. No, not that. It was a reminder. That's what it was.

I remember her driving around in that white station wagon, me always a passenger, her telling me, "I wish you could drive."

"I love to drive," is what I always said. But can't in this country.

I remember that time she took me to the park to meet my circle of extended friends. It was a BBQ but we were there to drink & see who showed up. It was that day she disappeared in the woods & I didn't have a corkscrew to open my wine. I eventually drank it. She dropped me off for band practice & went to see her folks down south.

Another time she picked me up from the studio. We went to Don Quijote's (a store) & I got detergent, we looked at crazy costumes, & ate tako-yaki. (Insert cliche, "Only in Japan.")

And the time we went searching for her favorite Chinese restaurant, finally found it, paid to park, & worked our way through the crowd of drunk people laughing outside. But it was closed. On the way home she asked me if I was nervous with her driving & I said no. I was never nervous & that was strange.

I want to write more about the white station wagon with surfing stickers on the back, but, like I said, I haven't written in months.

Up ahead, on my walk, I saw some fuzzy looking things sticking out into my path. They were on both sides, drooping green stalks with soft-colored cotton balls on top. I decided to touch one & missed. I touched another & it was hard, not anything like it looked.

I listened to my music, felt the heat of a defeated Summer, & avoided as many dragon flies as I could. I'm amazed by their eyes.