Thursday, January 31, 2008

peace on earth

and good will toward certain people that work at the apple store like Evan who fixed my problems, well not the bad hair problems but I was so pitiful because I dragged in the offending printer too and said basically I was going to sit on their little black stool until everything was fixed. And he fixed everything and I felt so grateful I was driving home and the sun was out just a bit and I realized the feeling I was having was happiness. Whoa.

Then I went to Martha's house and she has a watsu pool in her back yard and she did a watsu session with me. The water is body temperature and you get in and she swirls you around and sometimes takes you under water and she bends you all up and then she cradles you and swooshes you around some more. It was amazing when I closed my eyes and the sun burst out behind my eyelids and I thought about the whole amniotic thing which is, I think, the point. Martha wanted to know how I was doing and I told her I was OK and during the swooshing and floating I thought about my brother. He will never get to do watsu. I imagined him in the water floating around and crying and letting all the sadness go out. Then he could just worry about having pruney fingers. I don't always know what to say when someone asked about my 'feelings'. I think they are in a safe place for now. Monday I can go to suicide group again and I'll see how I do.

I personally recommend that in lieu of killing yourself, you have a bath until you are wrinkly and you've gotten the newspaper all wet and the tea is all gone.

It is a kindness to the rest of us.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jack Straw said nyet but you can hear me read on And my lovely new apple won't print anything from WORD. It WILL print from my email so maybe I should email my poems to myself and print from there...GRRR. So back to the apple store and the blue shirts.

I had my hair ironed today. I'm in the growing-it-out stage, so right, I have the recently released look and I have been trying to pretend I look, you know, dashing and debonair, however my hairdresser person disabused me of that idea pretty quick. She said, "I can fix that." Now I have actual bangs and really straight hair that is all swingy because she ironed the whole thing. I will not be ironing my hair any time soon. I would burn myself and end up looking like Edward Scissorhands after a laundry accident. So for one evening, I am going to walk around my house swinging my head and pretending I am John Lennon in the first Beatle's movie. I think I look smashing. Maybe I'll have a little glass of port too and put on my fleece bathrobe, ol swingy haired me, la la.

Monday, January 28, 2008

whenever it snows in Seattle, all the inappropriate-type drivers in their inappropriate cars try to go down the road VERY FAST, especially on the interstate. We cautious stay-at-home types enjoy the evening news, therefore.

Where I learned to drive, it was cold and icy for 6 months of the year, with large intimidating piles of snow to boot. You HAD to have snow tires. You LEARNED to turn into the skid. You were in an inevitable roll-over at least once. You drove VERY SLOWLY, especially when there was zero visibility and all you saw were the little reflector things by the side of the road marking the miles. You wore many layers of clothes, in case. You carried flares, in case. It was just life, man.

Then I moved here and what the f---??? In rain, drivers slow down and squeek along, whatever. But, hey, snow!!! We own a 4 wheel drive!!!! We can go VERY FAST, even though our wheel base is 14 feet in the air!!! And we look so stupid hanging up-side-down from our seat belts by the side of the road. On the evening news, yeah!

What I really wanted to say is that there was a guy on tv last night who was 'stretch man' cuz his skin was waaaaayyy stretchy. He could pull his neck skin over his face, yikes! There have to be some possibilities for him, I think. He could wrap his arms around his girlfriend 2 or 3 times. He COULD pin his ears to his lips for an interesting costume. He could, literally, be beside himself. ( How's Andy? Oh, he's beside himself on the couch and I'm having to get out the vacuum.)And inagine his other unmentionable features, I'll let you go there.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I'm so happy I got 2 more books of poems by Dean Young. When I read poems I like, I am extremely happy. Hooray for the effort. Continue with quirks! Staple your lips to your ears, listen up, harp seals! Forge the palaver! Announcement is immanent.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I am writing on my new apple and it is ok for right now. I'm afraid I actually have to go to the apple store and have a 'session' with a young person who will secretly scorn me for my ineptness. I DO like the way the little icons jump up and down when you put the cursor on them. However, I am fearfully ignorant of most of the functions...

Still contemplating a satsuma. It is hard now, like a walnut or a doorstop. I could hurt someone with it if I threw it. It is no longer edible, so technically it isn't food any longer. Fruit is supposed to be alluring and juicy. The plant strategy to continue the species. We're supposed to eat fruit. If you're worried about taking life, fruit likes it, it says, yeah, bite me. And scatter my seeds. Oddly comforting, if you think about it. Cows, apparently, have a different reaction if you bite them while they are just minding their own business out in the pasture.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I bought a new computer, an apple. I feel like I have gone to the other side, the side with the groovy 'design concepts' and the perky 'geniuses' in their blue shirts in the apple store, yuck. But I gave them my pc and it has all my poems on it and I sorta backed them up, mostly and they are supposed to transfer all my stuff to the apple laptop and it will be all pretty and appley and shit.

I just finished reading The Sun, which I read from cover to cover every month. I love The Sun, I love the black and white photos, I love the interviews with doom makers, I love the depressing short stories. My goal is to be published in The Sun. I am thinking about sending flowers and candy, maybe that would work. Or a stripper-gram, that might get their attention. This month, the interview is with a mushroom expert guy, honest. The whole earth will be cured by fungi and slime mold eating petrochemicals and slag heaps (what are slag heaps anyway? like when they remodel a 60's house and take out the carpet, no that would be shag heaps). And mushrooms are intelligent, they 'communicate' with each other and they scrub the air and so on. Ok, the guy did do some psilocybin during his research, didn't we all? And there are like about a million kinds and we don't even know what most of them are up to.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

and furthermore

Coach Holmgren of the Seahawks said that the 9 mil had 'nothing to do' with his signing a new contract. Right.


is a thing, for sure. I went on retreat and we were at Crsecent Lake at the Olympic Park Institute, so gorgeous, I mean really gorgeous, eagles and deer and mountains and nature everywhere. And we got to sit in this beautiful hall, so quiet, dim lights and the usual squirming and pain in the knee and so forth. Then, I got really sick, fever, cough, nasty snot, the whole tortilla. And we are staying in little cabins with plastic on the matresses. We're not supposed to read or anything but I brought Dean Young and I'm trying to read him and with a --pfffffft--the ceiling light burned out so true misery set in. Like any good Buddhist, I left as soon as I could. Rats, actually, but I thought I might die during the night. Ok, so it is just a cold, you say. Yeah, but it could have gone into my ear and into my brain and KILLED ME. Of course, my teacher told us that Ajahn Chah, a Burmese teacher, had to have his teeth extracted so he walked to the neighboring village and had them pulled out WITHOUT ANESTHETIC, ow-ey. And I'm whining about a lousy cold. Anyway.

Today the sun is coming in the windows and illuminating all the little cat nose smears where they sit and look out and make that jittery cat noise with their mouths when they are watching birds. Maybe they think they are sounding like a bird and 'calling' to birds. Hopeless, really hopeless.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I found a new poet

well, not new, but new to me. Dean Young and I am reading Skid. Please read him, you won't be sorry. He makes me laugh and gasp. I live for good poems and he wrote a slew. Of good poems. I need to read all his books. You can listen to him read out loud too. It's weird, listening to your laptop talking in a deep male voice. Like people walking around talking (you think)to themselves. The schizophrenia phenomenon, with a phone thingy in their ears.

Why, when the sun comes out, do you see massive dust and cat pawprints on everything? I think it is some kind of black arts. Your eyes are affected by the light rays and smudges, smears and fur leap up and attaches to windows, picture frames and the couch. Because after the sun goes down, all is normal again. I have another theory about cobwebs involving malevolent thoughts and eating ice cream after 10PM.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Those 6 poems

I sent out yesterday, I think they weighed more than 13 oz which is the limit for the post office....sheesh, so they will return to me and I have to mail them in person so the post office person can see me?? and the fact that I am not wearing any incendiary devices around my waist?? or the envelope is shaped envelope and not a bread box or??? Cripes, I didn't even know the rules.

I got accepted into quarrtsiluni and I have to record myself reading the poems. Gawd, I hope I can figure it out. Dana did it, she recorded herself reading her poem and it was brilliant, because it was kinda monotone and cool and creepy. I loved the way it made me shiver.

I think g-d is mad at us in the NW. It was pouring, THEN HAIL, THEN SNOW. I drive an Insight hybrid which weighs about 3# so any ice, snow etc makes me extremely nervous, plus the visibility factor. I am not returning to the streets until this current weather action calms down. And I am swearing off cookies, as of today. I might need cookies anonymous. My name is Beth and I have a cookie addiction.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I did it

I sent out 6 poems tonight, before midnight so it counts. And I am sitting on one of those blow-up ball chairs that are SO DORKY and ugly but my back has been giving me fits and maybe it will help. I got my site meter to work and Dubai is on there and someplace in Korea. Kinda freaky.

I got together with a friend yesterday whose mom killed herself and what a relief to talk to her. She says that the feelings are like a beach ball you try to hold under water but they just pop up randomly, like in the supermarket when you are staring at the gum section and suddenly you remember when your brother went to bed with gum in his mouth and during the night it got in his hair so he had this really funny messed up wad on one side of his head and you had to cut it out with cuticle scissors so he had a hole place in his hair. Then at breakfast your mom gets all mad because he has a chunk taken out of his hair and there is gum stuck to his pillow case which she hasn't seen yet...and now he is dead and you can't call him up anymore to kid him about gum-head.

So I'm sitting on a beach ball chair and my brother is still a goner. I think Monday is the next suicide support group drama meeting. Now I have friends who want to go to so I have company. Then after we can have a drink. I want a mixed drink but I never know what to order. I feel so unsophisticated. What is a grasshopper drink anyway, squeezed grasshoppers? Or electric tea, little lightening bolts? Maybe I'll just drink a scotch. And think of the moors and lichen and sweaters and the like.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


you go through a whole day thinking it is Tuesday and actually it is Wednesday or Sunday. I did that yesterday so I get to have January 10th again because I thought it was January 10th yesterday. It might be a new strategy to redo a really bad day, just have it again. Correct the mistakes, don't drive too fast through a school zone, wear your seat belt and eat a lot of vegetables.

Tonight I had my writing group and we are hilarious. We shriek with laughter. It is so loud I think we rile up Rebecca's cats. We eat cheese and bread and grapes and we drink tea from real teapots and you would think we could be polite but we just refuse. And everyone brought a brilliant poem. And Rebecca sat with her feet on a chair because she has some serious problems with bones and burns and the like. We might have to fashion some accident proof footwear for her so she can no longer damage herself. But fashionable of course. And then we ragged on Laura for wearing homeless person Laplander clothes so we went out the door shrieking. I hope Rebecca's neighbor doesn't leave an evil note.

I am still contemplating the satsuma. It is getting rather hard. When I was meditating the other morning, there were 3 chickens crossing the road by my house. Like the joke. I'm not making this up. I would not make up stories about semi-wild life. Cars were stopping so they could cross and then the people were just staring because there were chickens (surrounded by pigeons, I might add) pecking around in the yard in Columbia City. The rooster was really pretty but man, are they dumb.

Ok, when I was trying to peel off my running tights, I kinda stepped on my right index finger and there was this crunch sound and now my finger is sore and swollen at the knuckle. It's too embarrassing the way I did it so I'm going to make up a story about how I rescued a bunch of people from a ledge 8 stories up and sprained my finger. Then the mayor will give me the keys to the city and I will be in the paper and famous and my finger will sport a big bandaid and the guy at the coop will carry my groceries to my car and I will be rich but generous and my poetry will all be published and I will buy all my friends some great shoes. The End.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


in the way of bad poetry. I get a newsletter from my national organization of midwives and this month the centerfold (ha!) is a truly dreadful 'poem'. I am going to write to the editor right now and complain. There is enough suffering in the world. We don't need to add to it. I am so grateful to the good poets out there for continuing to write, even without big awards and fame and the like. I thank you from the bottom of my weasly little heart. Or gallbladder, which ever is the more appropriate organ.

Monday, January 07, 2008

many things happened

today and I feel like I've been in the dryer with the sneakers, a lot of banging around. But first I have to say that my daughter rocks and these pictures are hers and they are beautiful and I am so grateful that she has a restless eye, roving and checking and eliminating. We went to Yosemite together and I watched her taking photos and I began to see what/how she sees the world. Like when Rebecca says I am always thinking in poems, Eden is always thinking in light and dark and color...

I'm still watching the satsuma until my eye breaks open. This is a poem exercise. Try it. Don't use any words like orange, citrus, fruity, etc. I'm thinking Nepal, where I'm going in the fall. Really. A satsuma as K2.

I am drinking a glass of tawny port and it makes me think about the queen. I watched Jane Eyre last night on PBS and it was a good Brit version, Jane was actually pretty plain and Mr Rochester was appropriately tortured but the mad wife in the attic wasn't quite crazy enough. It made me think about antipsycotics and the story wouldn't work today because she would have a diagnosis and medication and it would be so...civilized. None if this setting English manors on fire and throwing yourself off the parapet. Anyway. After the glorious ending: a family portrait with a bunch of kids( they did have the hots for each other) and Rochester sitting there all gnarly but happy (still handsome in a ruined sort of way), they ran a docu on the queen, you know, Elizabeth, the current one.

Whoa, OK. What a life. One scene she was presiding over the Court or something and she is wearing this CRAZY crown and it was flashing like little flashlights every time she moved. And she has 12 crowns, for different occasions. And then there is the frickin' ocean liner she rode around on, her 'home away from home'. Then there are the HUGE crowds that come out to see her and sing happy birthday and god save the queen, etc. All because she is in a royal line, what the hell. Those Brits, who can understand them? And I can make fun because they are my people.

So I am going to toast the queen, with all her Corgis. She has a bunch of them. They are ridiculous. Yogi was a Corgi. I have his ashes on my counter besides a Buddha statue. Yogi was a bodhisatva with really short legs. Do dogs have Buddha nature? Of course they do.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


I am beginning to understand some things. It's like this, when the weather is this gross, everyone stays in and eats a lot of cookies because if you go outside the ground is actually MELTING. I am not kidding. I went for a walk by the lake and there were these drainage things and the earth was all collapsed from the 457th day of rain. I imagined going over to them and seeing if I would just sink down out of sight and it scared me so much I had to comfort myself with chocolate chip cookies. That, and a lot of tea. And pajamas. I got these pajamas for Christmas and they might be the best pajamas in the world right now. They are fleece, which is, I believe, a miracle fabric and I don't use that word lightly. They have snowflakes on them and they are blue. I could wear them all the time. I could wear them to work and maybe I will. I think all my clothes should be made of fleece. Sometimes, it is a real disadvantage not to have fur. I do wonder how the deer are doing all dripping wet right now. Maybe they have deer lounges out in the woods where they go play pool and drink mulled wine.

I actually sent poems to 2 different places today so maybe I don't have to next week. Rebecca is making us send poems in EVERY WEEK, gawd.

Further Instructions From the Fallback

Begin again (slip knot) to tell me what you are (heaving line bend)

Trying to say (sheepshank) where was he (thief knot) found and

When was this (clove hitch) anyway

First he tried a cowboy bowline too loose

Then an alpine butterfly his fingers didn’t work right

A Portuguese sinnet eluded him as did a lark’s head and a dog shank

Too complicated for a monkey’s fist tried a blood knot yes

A diamond knot closer a grief knot would do just right

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

One more thing

When Holly and I were coming back from the monastery in Oregon, I started making jokes about suicide. She thought I was being tasteless but I realized that I can make jokes about suicide if I want to. I GET TO IF I WANT. Sometimes people say something like, " If I have to hear that song again, I'm going to kill myself", then they sneak a little look at me to see if I'm gonna get all upset, like, how insensitive can they be??? But it's OK, honestly. There is pain and weeping. Then there are moments of brightness, like the house around the corner from me that is completely covered with lights. They need a generator so the neighborhood doesn't blow. I always go see that house this time of year. It makes me happy to see Santa, reindeer, the baby Jesus, candy canes, stars and spiral Christmas trees all in one big kitschy lighted up mess.

That's why the shrink guy I saw last week isn't too worried about me. He thinks I'm resilient, I'm not going to crack up or try to off myself. It was reassuring to be with someone who had confidence in me. A hopeful sign.

By the way. At the Zen place, we learned to make origami lotus blossoms. It was like crafts hour at the home.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

so I was wrong

about the Zen people. They are actually human beings who happen to take a million vows and shave their heads and wear long black dresses and pants. And they eat chocolate and really good cookies. And they let us stay in their monastery and use their zendo, which was pretty generous of them. We were not so tidy so I thought they were awfully tolerant, considering. We had a fair amount of hair and we wore colors and we were all weepy and huggy. Although we did some hugging with them at the end. I cried so much but it was so acceptable. I didn't even have to talk about my brother or my dog. We did sing and dance too. Sandy Boucher and her partner Martha were our den mothers and they were very kind, like older post menopausal bodhisatvas in big wool socks.

On New Year's Eve, we all rang the HUGE bell by the altar. I would live there so I could do that again. There are all these other noisemakers too, like clapper things and a hanging wooden plank you hit with a big mallet while you wear earmuffs, whoa. I think there are a lot of rules but they didn't expect us to know them, thank goodness.

OK, so taking a shower was a bit complicated. The shower room was in the gym area, outside the dorms. So you go down there with your towel and soap and you have to turn on 4 showers in a row so the water gets hot. This means that you get your clothes wet so you take off your clothes, but the room is about 3 degrees so you are hopping around until you see steam rising up after about, oh say, 5 minutes, which is a really long time. Then you get wet but the air is so cold you don't really care that you got the soap off, you run over and get your towel and get dressed as quickly as possible. It was definitely a deterrent to the cleanliness thing.

Yes, I meditated a lot. It is the Balm of Gilead, whatever that is.

I love you, Lotus Sisters. You know who you are. You rock my world. Thank you for helping to save the world.