Wednesday, July 30, 2008


my brother came in during the night
he had no head
he had no arms or legs
he dangled his feet
first he was laughing
then a bit of shouting

you are not allowed to wrangle with mace
if my brother were here he would beat you up
he would chase you away
we left the orange out until it became a boat
we found some oars and paddled to the middle

my brother swam after us
he couldn't catch us because of his feet
he didn't have any feet
confessional poetry is humorous
that's why we are mute when my brother appears

can you wrap this up for me
I want to take it home
you are really very smooth
you remind me of my brother when he was sober
references to heaven or purgatory have been redacted

honey, I never told you about my brother
there was nothing to tell
he had my father's hands
he wore braces when he was 12
can you see him now?

I'm going to have a whine fest and then I will get up and go to work, which I love, I know I said it here but I am so freakin' tired right now. So we had some more babies and last night just as I was contemplating my sweet, new, slightly squishy futon bed with the soft wool topper, the pager went off again. ARRRGGGGA. The momma couldn't tell what was going on so I got in my car and went to her house to check it out. She was not in labor, thank all the birth goddesses of all time, and I came home again and fell into a sleep coma. I think I didn't even move all night. Chronic fatigue is the reason people lose their minds, go crazy, see visions, etc. New parents can testify to all this. Midwives have sleep deprivation sometimes. And if it persists, we turn into scary monsters like in Ed Wood movies, Bela Lugosi on morphine, lurching around and drooling. Fortunately, I slept ALL NIGHT and I plan to do the same tonight. When I am fully recovered, I will go hiking in the mountains, twirling in my dirndle and singing, "The Hills are Alive With the Sound of Music", which, if you think about it, would make a fine horror film. Little music notes crawling through the hills, devouring all in their path. They would be humming The Ring cycle (all zillion overblown hours of it) and gnashing their bitty pointy teeth. **shudder**

Monday, July 28, 2008

Go here: for my latest poem. Formatting a bit weird. Not my fault.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bring down the rains. Crispy grass, even in Seattle. I have a new bed, nearer the floor with a wool topper, very squishy and soft.

Without any provocation, I believe I will gather enough poems for a book and become published, by a small press. I will use a painting I am fond of for the cover or an old photo from my daughter. I will be modest but proud. When they send a car for me, I will refuse because I would rather ride the stallion.

With forgiveness comes freedom.

Friday, July 25, 2008

My partner and I of almost 7 years are separating. The feeling in my body is like an electrical current, a jangling, whistling sound, ragged and raw. Sleep is difficult. I sit in my bed in the morning and wonder about 'groundlessness', where the edges don't hold. How is it that we push away pain, welcome delight as if both were not in each other. All the time.

Patti fed me heirloom tomatoes, aged cheese and good Scotch last night. She has a couch now and we sat on it and looked at the water from her living room window. I don't scare her. A Portland friend is coming tonight to stay the weekend. I hope the babies will give me a break and not want to be born in the next few days.

Gratitude. For those who can approach without fear. I'm not toxic. Not really.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

write with a pencil. write with a special pen. write with chalk. write with invisible ink. write with epoxy. write with ground bones. write with grasshopper spit. write with strawberry juice. write with smoke. write with salt. write with a quill. write with sea water. write with a dog jaw.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

write 3 poems when you are really tired. revise when you are rested.
Yesterday I actually had a day off so my friend Patti and I had a delish dinner and we headed to The Dark Knight. Blech! I was pumped cuz it was the 'sequel' to Batman Begins, a brilliant effort, I thought. Our waitron even approved our choice. He said "the best movie in a long time.."

Two and 1/2 hour slugfest with some cool stuff like the Batcar and a Batmotorcycle with ridiculous wide wheels. Heath was a great Joker but I tired of him too because there was just too much slamming and punching and blowing buildings and people up. And the girl lead, whatzername, chipmunk cheeks and pouty lips in place of acting, which was in short supply. I am not a teenage boy, or whoever likes this kind of thing. Ironman was much better.

Just say no to summer blockbusters. Blockheaded is more like it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I am going swimming NOW, before anything else happens. Way busy week, seeing all manner of pregnant women in my clinic. My partner is is Mexico, the nerve. She will be back in 10, count 'em, days. Then I will toss the pager to her and leave town for any area where the waves smack against the shore. I will drink some alcohol and read trashy books.

I watched a man in a large red t-shirt doing an interpretive dance in front of the hospital yesterday. He was talking and waving his arms in the most fluid way. Then he stopped and talked with himself. He leapt in the air after,apparently, receiving an answer. More arm waving, occasional glances skyward. I think he was expecting his people to return to earth and carry him away. The red t-shirt and arm waving were signals. Perhaps I need to wear brighter colored clothes so I am easier to spot. I already talk to myself. The conversation goes like this:

"Oh, good morning, it's effing bright in here."

"Well, you had these skylights put in. What did you expect?"

"I think my leg is paralized, no wait, it is a cat, the heavy one."

"They're all heavy, even with diet food."

"I wonder if it is the same fly as yesterday..."

etc, etc. Brilliant stuff.

To the pool to immerse myself in silence.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I drove all the way to my workshop and it was canceled WAAAAAAAAAAA. Page came out and told me. He was so kind partly because he is used to writers and the strange metallic glint in their eyes...esp when they are thwarted. I am working all the time, every day and it so sucks. +++whine and complain horn section+++ I am going for a long walk now to contemplate 'Bird' Parker and John Coltraine and Billie Holliday. If you have never seen all 20 hours of Ken Burns 'Jazz', rent it and wonder about what you have been missing.

Even I, a woman with no identity, can feel the humble.

Oh, well, I do have a paper driver's license with a pretty good picture on it, better than the last one. Paper driver's licenses seem so...flimsy. I have a paper driver's license, a QFC card and a health insurance card. The rest is just piffle.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wishbone is better and he is released from kitty jail. I was feeling almost normal this morning and I thought it was a brilliant sunny day so I should go to Seward Park and walk the perimeter before work and I got choked up and was crying a little being grateful and I saw a heron (yes, Rebecca, I did) and many people out walking and I smiled at them and I saw an eagle at the top of the snag and I got near my car and noticed people standing around and I thought, 'aha, they are wondering who owns the spiffy hybrid', but no, someone had smashed my passenger window and stolen my bag with my wallet, glasses, beeper, etc etc in it. Glass all over. Right.

At least my passport was at home.

A nice man came and replaced the window but the bank couldn't close my account without ID because of the Patriot Act. ARRRGGGG.

I will admit I had a moment of absolute freedom, no identity, no stupid debit/credit cards, no pager. Now I can get a new wallet.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Wishbone is really sick and he is in the kitty infirmary upstairs in the spare room. He got over his abcess but now he has an infection and one eye is all goopy and half closed. Plus he's blowing his coat and he's skinny, at least for him. I go in there and talk to him about life and how I wish he felt better and he rubs up against me and purrs. He really is the sweetest cat. Well, except for the murderous behaviour but that's normal.

I took him to the emergency vet yesterday and they were actually nice. I have been used to going to the mercenary after hours vet where they punish you for inconveniencing them by demanding your credit card BEFORE they even see your animal. You can come in with a half dead dog and they gotta have their lucre. Cripes. So this new place was such a relief. They were kind and inexpensive and told me I could bring him back, no charge, if he wasn't better. I'm not sure what better is but he is lying around on a fluffy cat bed with all manner of foods and beverages geared for his recovery. I am so not like him when I get sick. I get all dramatic and whine and moan. Although my father was the master of death bed scenes when he was sick. It was clear he wouldn't recover from his cold and we would be so sorry, standing around his death bed, wishing we had been nicer to him. Death by snotty nose. Maybe it's a guy thing.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Last night I stopped to see a friend who has moved into a cabin overlooking the lake. We sat on the only chairs and looked past the piles of boxes at the glittery bridge and glittery cars and drank cheap wine. She said she was so worried about me, she was going to come to my house and see if there was a grave-sized bit of disturbed earth in the yard. Sometimes I resent the sun coming up and being all pretty and shit. Maybe I am a wee bit angry because I am working every day for 2 weeks. I know, I did it to myself. But I got to sit in Patti's weensy living room and shed some self-pitying tears. Cathartic.

Mid-American Review sent me a copy of their latest journal. I was thinking, "Did I get a poem in there and I forgot?" Nope. And I won't either. My poems are too different from what they publish. Can you tell me why translations get published, especially when the translation is...lame? There are a dozen poems in the journal from a Slovenian poet and the translations are limp and tired. Wait, maybe I am limp and tired. Anyway, let me know your thoughts about this. I bet good translations are effing hard to write.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Bah, humbug. I am feeling Scrooge-ish, feverish, waspish, warpish, etc. Even though the skies are not cloudy all day, Trigger nickers so winningly and the corn is as high as an elephant's eye. I have worked another 12 hour day and I am still here, at work. I love what I do except when I eat cheese curds for dinner and get NO exercise. Home to scrounge a poem for the poets tomorrow night. A dirty poem, a soiled hankerchief of a poem, a ratty poem, a neglected poem, a poem squiggling crookedly across the page.

Perhaps I will eat strawberries in their perfection and the right answers will come. My anxiety will disappear, the heavens will send down shortcake and whipped cream and there will be peace on the land. And the trolls in the White House will dig themselves back into their grottos and crags on the side of Warlock Hill.

I wait for a sign.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Welcome back to the USA and proud owners of really big cars. After a week on retreat in Canada, Nanaimo to be exact (means hill with 7 potatoes in Japanese, apparently), I came back to land of the free and home of the fearful, by the looks of things. The garden is still growing and the NYTimes was still delivered to my door so all is well. An article about suicide was cheerful and the economy situation...well, Hummers get 8 miles a gallon! I can feel righteous putt-putting along in my eany hybrid.
Canada has weird things, like red lights on the freeway. You are whizzing along at 90 K and whoops, a flipppin' red light,and you fling your hand and arm across the chest of your passenger as you screech to a stop. They have national health insurance, can you imagine? And KD Laing, who I am listening to right now because she can belt "One cigarette in an ashtray". There were quail that sat on the roof of the building and tut-tut-tutted to us. I thought quail couldn't fly, it must be the Canadian water. Oh, Canadians don't do July 4th, brilliant, as they say, just brilliant. No sounds of gunfire all night for 3 days, scaring the horses.

A friend told me recently that she is feeling happy sometimes. I am not sure I know what that experience is like. I don't do happy so much. I swam in a lake every day when I was away. I could call that happiness, stroking out to the middle of the lake, floating on my back and knowing if I couldn't continue to swim, I could float. That's why grief takes courage, the getting through it part. And nobody can do it for you. Like having a baby, you gotta do it by yourself.

Impermanence, that's what Adrianne reminded us, all will pass. Even this sorrow.