Friday, August 31, 2007


It's a boy!
It's a girl?
You're rich!
You lived!
It's not dengue fever!
You will walk again!
You don't need oral surgery!
Your ass looks great in a thong!
You are an instant runoff winner!
You will graduate even after the incident!
You aren't pregnant!
We have your favorite color/flavor/antidepressant!
We aren't arresting you!
The dog you ran over was already dead!
The nail you stepped on is worth a fortune!
You are the thousandth shopper and entitled to a tiara!
You are as good looking as Miss America!

* fear of hearing good news

hunger and thirst

There was a hummingbird in the yard washing herself in the fountain. A green hummingbird. Last Saturday night I was coming home at 3AM along 31st Ave South. An odd dog in the road with skinny legs and big ears, sketchy. As I got closer, he turned and looked at me while he made for the curb. I slowed down and he faced me. I rolled down the window and exclaimed, "you're a coyote!" as he headed for Frink Park. Like he cared that I identified him. I worry about a posse that will form to capture him because the neigborhood cats are disappearing or someone thinks he is a threat to the kids. So wild, we forget how it used to be.

In Alaska, there aren't many people. It's mostly trees and mountains and snow and glaciers. And lots of critters; salmon so thick in the creeks you have to step on them to get across. Bears and eagles, whales and seals. The West coast looked like that, before we got so crowded, so tame. We banished the coyotes but they are returning. I hope they are smart about it. Caniphobia-fear of coyotes. Zemmiphobia-fear of the great mole rat.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


This morning, I went swimming at Rainier Beach Pool and every Sunday there is the Glory of God congregation in the gymnasium. They have a band and ladies in the back sit by the baked goods and the cash box. The preacher walks around with a mic and people stand up and sway.

I got confused because I was hearing a preacher from the other side of the street while I was still in the parking lot. I'm thinking, maybe he has a speaker outside and he can throw his voice and my bum ear is playing tricks on me, etc. But I got inside and they were playing music. Nobody was preaching. I did my swim and decided to head South. There on the opposite corner was another preacher, amp, mic and a plexiglass podium, preaching away to the cars going by. So whoa, I thought. We are in need of saving and it's getting pretty bad. AND, the Baptist Church down the street is FOR SALE. I mean, can you SELL A CHURCH?

Meanwhile, Ramey and I listened to a dharma talk about the paramis, a confusing lesson for this month. Really confusing. But it got me thinking about a 'tight' mind, unlike a relaxed mind. If everything comes in via the senses through the mind filter and the mind is tight...and there was this book review I was reading and it mentioned that there are more senses than 5. There's proprioception, equilibrioception, thermoception, nociception and maybe hunger, thirst and balance.

Balance includes unicyclists, Chinese acrobats and one legged yoga postures. And we are all falling down so the book suggests we practice balancing while brushing our teeth.

I fall down while running. I just lie there bleeding, feeling sorry for myself. Then I have to get up and keep going. I once fell while on a treadmill. I got up and got right back on, blood running in a slow trickle down my leg. It was at a college gym with LOTS of college students all around me. So embarrassing.

Babies have to learn about proprioception. They keep bopping themselves in the face until they do.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Will Stafford

William Stafford was asked to write poems for a project along the Methow River Valley. You can find seven poems on route 153.

A Valley Like This

Sometimes you look at an empty valley like this,
and suddenly the air is filled with snow.
That is the way the whole world happened-
there was nothing, and then...

But maybe some time you will look out and even
the mountains are gone, the world become nothing
again. What can a person do to help
bring back the world?

We have to watch it and then look at each other.
Together we hold it close and carefully
save it, like a bubble that can disappear
if we don't watch out.

Please think about this as you go on. Breathe on the world.
Hold out your hands to it. When mornings and evenings
roll along, watch how they open and close, how they
invite you to the long party that your life is.

I was weeding my garden after dinner. The neighbor's little violets are volunteering at the border, mixing in with the hyssop and the roses. Weeding is my favorite exercise. So pointless too.

The Baptist church a block away is for sale, yikes! Really expensive and available for 'mixed use'
If they put in a Whole Foods, I'm moving. I'd prefer Hari Krishnas instead. They could stand on Rainier with their orange robes and white stripes on their foreheads, banging on drums and passing out holy books. It would liven up the nieghborhood.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gettin' published

So excited, Borderlands:Texas Poetry Review has accepted a poem, yahoo!!! I was yelling in the kitchen because I was opening the envelope and thinking, yah, another rejection, NOT THAT I CARE and it was a lovely acceptance. Made my whole day.

Attended a birth the other night and the babe had a true knot in his cord, whew. He didn't seem to mind. His auntie, a dear friend who died last March, must have been watching over the whole thing. Babies can tangle themselves up in their cords in all kinds of ways, really crazy. Usually they just dive right through.

I have to go back to Sunday, the day I returned from LA. That morning, I ran around a little lake called Echo Lake in the Echo Park neighborhood where Eden lives. Early and so many people out, sitting around, groups of men, walkers and joggers, dog walkers. And so much stuff on the street, mattresses, exploding couches, stuff of all kinds. The air was thick, like it had a texture.

I came back to the house and ended up watching Van, Eden's g'friend and Amy skating on a half pipe while the nieghborhood boys stood around in awe. They were GOOD. Then we crashed an apartment swimming pool to cool off. Before all that, we went to the farmer's market where they had everything, absolutely everything, mango crepes, fresh dates, cactus fruit, huge bunches of basil...yum. What a town, Scientology, Yogananda, movie stars, skater girls and Korea Town.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I'm in LA with Eden and it is really HOT here so of course we went to a gardening store and bought compost and plants so we could GARDEN IN 300 DEGREE HEAT. Last night we went to Korea Town and had amazing food at a huge restaurant. Boiling tofu soups with seaweed and tofu salad and cast iron pots of rice and little bowls of kim chee and pickled veggies. Before that, she took me to a Korean ladies spa where we got scrubs and a hot oil massage. The woman who worked on me was merciless. She knelt on the table and pounded on my back after scraping all my skin off. The topper was when I was lying on my stomach and she asked me to put my face into the table so she could pound my neck. I thought my nose would break. It was glorious.

Very early this morning I got up to meditate on the porch. What a noisy city. Reminds me of NYC, sirens and bad mufflers and car alarms. Humming with human activity.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Jobs I would rather have

Libraries of obscure words. That's s where I want to work. My favorite dictionary is the Webster Second Edition, the huge one the libraries used to have on a pedestal. It even has colored plates. We have ours turned to the poisonous plants page. I bought it in a used bookstore for $75. It is a beautiful book. There are also many pages of photos of library illuminati, mostly men of course, with their spectacles and wavy hair. In a fire, I would save it, along with the dogs. The cats will have to fend for themselves.

Don't forget Taber's Medical dictionary, a thing of beauty itself. Many indexes, including a phobia index. Lovely phobias and more born every day. Comforting somehow. We can all be on someone's list.

Eden, my daughter, had a photo shoot with Yoko Ono. I have a large photo of her looking over her sunglasses at me. The woman is 72 and looks fabulous, black tights and demin skirt. I could be her valet.

Take a look at wicked alice, a gorgeous WEB site of women's poetry. Kelly's poems are there.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Start here

I have said this before but my friend Kelly is a brilliant writer and she has a river under her house. It gives a whole new meaning to floating universes. We went to a reading where Rebecca Loudon was the featured reader and during the open mic we couldn't look at each other for fear of blowing iced tea out our noses. And Rebecca was so elegant and incendiary.

Today we hear that Karl Rove is leaving for family reasons. He is off to ruin more lives, maybe just his intimates.

Read Radish King by Rebecca. Read Crush by Richard Siken. Mimi, another poet I write with, lent me Crush and now I can't return it until I have my own copy. I can't even read it very well. I don't want to open the cover for fear the words with fly off the pages and leave the book bound blanks.

Rebecca's work is like that. She transcends what the words mean, in any ordinary sense. Like fire and heat. The pages are hot to the touch.