Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Day and night all mixed up. When I stay up all night with someone in labor, I feel pretty weird all the next few days, hungry, sleepy, confused. Without my writing group I'm unhinged. I think about an on-line journal called Hinge or Mabby or Luther. Eden's photos of Yoko Ono are in Arthur. All the hip restaurants are one syllable words too; Crave, Spoon, Yetch.

Vashon Island has a drink called Blue Velvet, not the movie. It is Earl Grey, foamy milk and a splash of vanilla syrup. Almost enough to move there.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I slept all night, didn't think I would, a few clients imminent but no one called in labor. Started a series of poems on Dr Tesla, mad misfit genius. Although I thought he had a hand in the atom bomb. Nope, he played with electricity. And he was a 'confirmed bachelor' code for gay or too weird or too socially inept to get dates. I imagine him in a Frankenstein lab with his hair sticking out and jolts of lightening running up and down cathode ray tubes with bubbling Bunsen burners going full blast. Found McSweeney's WEB site, REALLY funny writing. I will convince Kelly we must start our own on-line journal. Then we don't have to be at the mercy of rejections. We can publish ourselves and sit in judgment on others, yea!

Rebecca and The Foundry met last night but I couldn't go. I wither without their company. We laugh so much we sound like a jolly half-way house. We eat snacks and sometimes we drink wine. We read poetry with merciless kindness.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The wonders of alcohol

We were all on the Oregon Coast, really beautiful, with the ocean going back and forth like it does, stars overhead and phosphorescent sand at night. Hazel, who is 2 1/2, had no trouble running naked into the water over and over. If you hold her up-side-down, she laughs and kisses you right on the lips. Milo alternates between Batman and Superman pajamas for day time wear, depending on which was wet and/or grubby. Superheros are an important part of beach life.

So, Ok, the car camping experience. First there are the massive RVs complete with awnings and satellite dishes. And little dogs wearing sweaters. The middle tier are the campers with pop-up trailers loaded with bicycles and lawn furniture. They decorate their campsites with tarp ceilings, over their tents and picnic tables. They have large hostile dogs tied to trees. That bark. A lot.Then there is us, the trash. We have overstuffed cars, we put our tents up in the rain without directions and we even have a KID POTTY right next to the fire pit because Hazel is learning the ropes, so to speak. Oh, and we have a clothes line with a lot of 'little prinicess' underpants for inspiration. What is our common denominator? Why, alcohol of course. The guy on our left with 4 dogs tied to trees, was having a Bud at 10 this morning. The young things to our right have a picnic table loaded down with beer empties and those little hard liquor bottles like you get on the plane. We opened our wine bottle by pushing the cork in (no corkscrew, of course) and the wine geysered all over our polarfleese and then we put the remainder in the cooler without a cork so it spilled all over the bottom. Wine soaked string cheese and avocado. Yum.

I'm supposed to do a 5 K run tomorrow but right now I am eating pita chips and drinking 15 year old Scotch. And thinking about my next camping trip. I'll remember to bring a corkscrew.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Yesterday, Maya, Milo and I went to the Puyallup Fair. Whoa. It happened to be Senior Tuesday so there was plenty of parking and a lot of old people riding around in trolleys and wheelchairs. Milo (age 4+) wasn't having the crafts and giant pumpkins. He wanted junk food and the rides. I went on one ride with him, a roller coaster and it was fine. I didn't lose my lunch. We did have curly fries and we all wondered how they make them curly. Milo had a swirly lollipop that made his tongue black. There was a 'petting zoo' with a bunch of terrified animals, especially the sheep who stood panting and looking blankly around. The horse barn was full of teenage girls sitting next to their lovely horses, what a fantasy.

When I got home there was a rejection from Paris Review, yeah! Why is it that rejection slips are literally that? What, we don't rate a whole piece of paper? They are conserving resources?

Mimi Allen and many other conceptual artists are having an event at the Aurora Motel, being torn down this Friday, the 15th. I'll be on the Oregon Coast with Maya.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

How to Impress People

I went to the Cranky reading at Hugo House last Thursday. I paid my money (three bucks) and told the lady I hated Cranky. She asked why and I said cuz they rejected some poems and she said, "Hi, I'm Cranky, I'm Amber and I don't remember your work, who are you, etc??" Then she gave me her Cranky pin. Gawd, nice going. Well, when I submit next time, she'll remember me.

Catherine Wing read some great stuff, very clever and sad. Well attended too, for a Thursday night. Zachary Schomberg, wunderkind with a book, "The Man Suit" was a stand up comic, droll and loose.

My tomato plant has gone nuclear, really this time. It is crossing the lawn and heading for the cars. I think it wants to get to the bar down the street. It has no time for tomatoes, the fruit or vegetable or whatever.

My daughter, grandson and I are going to the Fair on Tuesday. Cotton candy and funnel cake, and oh yeah, deep fried Twinkies. Only in America.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fallout shelters

My sister passed her nursing boards and my brother is going to court for DUIs and spousal abuse. Cool! I think there should be more church bells that ring on the hour, all over town. In my home town there was a factory siren that blasted at noon for the workers to go eat lunch. Syracuse China. You can find Syracuse China everywhere. Look at the bottom of your cup the next time you are in a greasy spoon, especially if it is a thick, heavy cup without designs.

I hiked by myself last Saturday. Wallace Falls, in Gold Bar. I forgot about the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe so the traffic was a snarl. My father used to take us to the NY State Fair outside Syracuse. We would have to visit the animal barns before hitting the rides and cotton candy. Endless cages of chickens, rabbits and penned cattle. One year there was a model fallout shelter, with cans of food and a metal toilet. I think if we had to live under ground, someone would have broken out and exposed us all to radiation. All I could think about was the lack of light and going to the bathroom in front of my brothers. Yuck.

The garden is slowing down. There is a time when the plants stop growing and begin their involution. The leaves turn tatty and begin to brown. Even the weeds look tired.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I have been thinking about haystacks. I have been thinking about toothpicks and boxes and lampshades made of varnished toothpicks. Birdcages, covered matchboxes. Toothpicks. I guess they weren't used toothpicks. Who thought of toothpicks, making toothpicks out of trees? I worry about chopsticks too and the styrofoam stuff my Pho is packed in. Or nurdles-microscopic plastic bits in the ocean, way more numerous than plankton. Alan Weisman wrote a book, The World without Us, reviewed in today's NY Times Book review and he imagines humans disappearing and all the plants and animals returning. The house would founder, the way abandoned houses look. They start to slump, then grass starts growing in the gutters, windows go missing, the door sags, the steps crumble. Pretty soon, the foundation splits and a sumac grows out of the crack. All the appliances rust and fester, rats and raccoons vie for nesting space in the oven. Over it all, morning glory and blackberry run through the ruins of the garden. I expect the yellow rose to hold her own. Her spikes are legendary. She knows how to draw blood.