Monday, August 31, 2009

Yesterday J and I rode our bikes from the beginning of Alki beach all the way to Lincoln  Park and back. So we passed by condos and the two little houses side by side covered with flowers and beach volleyball and two older folks on the rise in their lawn chairs with the paper and lemonade and kids running with their dogs into the water (surely too cold for everyone else) and Alki Bakery and the fish and chips place and the shop that rents three wheeled bikes and kayaks and there were kayaks in the water and scuba divers suiting up and dogs with new haircuts and people on their decks with tongs in hand to turn some kind of meat item over the charcoal even the scent of baby oil mixed with salt water smell girls in bikinis and boys in board shorts babies in strollers a para-sailer in the sky all stripey and convertibles with their tops down cops leaning on the handlebars of their Harleys while we wove our way along on the sidewalk in the street all the way to Lincoln Park where we stopped to go swimming in the Lincoln Park pool surely the best most wonderful pool in Seattle because it is next to the Sound right on the beach and it is SALT WATER and heated but outdoors so you can swim outside in a pool and be in salt water too with the sun shining through the water like in the tropics where I have hardly been but I have a little to swim with flower colored fish so it was most delicious and J even dived off the diving board a few times o we were on a vacation all we needed was a drink in a coconut with a paper umbrella sometimes there is nowhere else I want to be but right where I am. 

Friday, August 28, 2009

My manuscript is done. I can't justify the table of contents because I am a word idiot. But here are two copies sitting on my desk ready for final approval.

Now off to get that Pulitzer!

In other news, I have two bags of poetry books in the back of my car. I tried to give them away recently and no one wanted most of them. They are the kind of books friends give you because they know you write poetry and so therefore you would like a book titled 'One Hundred Greatest Love Poems" or some such.

Maybe the used bookstore down the street wants them. Or maybe I'll leave them at bus stop benches. I'm sure there are folks who need a poetry boost when waiting for the bus with their latte.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

When kids hit one year old, it's like hanging out with a miniature drunk. You have to hold onto them. They bump into things. They laugh and cry. They urinate. They vomit.

-Johnny Depp

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My child left yesterday and I am bereft. And there is a light rain, a pearly grey light. No one has yet rented the apartment and ownership of the house reverts to me on Wednesday (well, the bank owns the house and I make eeny payments every month until I expire), a subject my daughter was loathe to talk about.

Melancholy, in spite of the tomatoes which have exploded all over the garden. Little yellow ones that taste like candy and were seeded from last year's garden. Lots 'o green and little tomatoes but candified.

A crow and drops of rain hanging from the telephone wires outside my window. After I moved upstairs, I face the street now and can behave like a properly nutty cat-woman watching garbage cans rolling in the wind and neighbors moving about, yelling into cell phones and going off to work.

Off to the dentist this AM. My dentist owns a hobby farm on an island, raises sheep and sheep dogs and chickens. I buy eggs from my dentist, cruelty free eggs. Twice a year. And I get a new toothbrush. We always gossip and make my appointment run over. She knows more about me than my therapist. Perhaps if my therapist were a dentist...

I think I will take out the ancient lilac. It keeps shedding parts of itself. I'll plant a new young tree in it's place. We chopped the rose bush right down yesterday. Eden says it will recover. I hope so. It's ancient. And makes bright yellow roses. And it has wicked thorns, wicked and huge.

I forgot to scatter Yogi's ashes when Eden was here. He's still on the piano.

I just found out that my tax guy is actually a professional trumpeter. Now I trust him. He's an artist. I have no logical reason to trust him but I do. Because he played with Ray Charles.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My daughter and I CLEANED OUT THE BASEMENT AND THE GARAGE. HAAAAA. This will not happen again for another 100 years. It is so much more fun with another person. And she was so sweet, ie. "that's what kids are for, mom, to help you." As I live and breathe. 

Anything a) we could not identify b) had cat pee on it or c) was obviously busted but had, for some reason, sentimental value went out out out. Hazmats in a pile, grotty stuff in the garbage or to the curb for neighborhood delectation. I expect it all to be gone by tomorrow. 

My other daughter bought a fabulous kimono jacket when she and her sister were thrifting at Good Will. I immediately put it on and appropriated it as my own. She was a sport about it but I may not get a Christmas present from her. It really does flatter me and hides, as my mother would say, a multitude of sins. 

As a reward, we have blackberry/nectarine crumble from local berries we picked on the way home yesterday and vanilla coconut bliss. Ah.

One day the garage and the basement, on to the medicine/linen closet! Gawd, I might even vacuum the car. Nah.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I went to a financial planner last week. He told me I need $750,000 to retire. hahahahahahahaha.

Today I am showing my mother-in-law apartment. How do you let a stranger into your house and live there? So far I've only had friends or acquaintances (except for one lady who decorated like it was a hotel room and she never lived there). Oh, and the house sitter locked herself out so she broke a window into the MIL (cuz she was naked and freezing) and before she could get the window repaired, one of the cats got in and peed on the bed. That renter was a wee bit angry. Oops.

I downloaded a rental application to give to the two women who are coming over. It's a basement. It's small. It's next to the hot tub. It's got everything but it's kinda dark. Right now there is a MAN living there but he's been ok, and I know him. 

I wonder if they will think it weird if they hand in their astrological charts so I can compare them to mine? I keep strange hours. I don't vacuum in the middle of the night but I have some cats who try to sneak in. They think they might get a better deal downstairs, more catnip or better food. Fickle. Opportunistic. 

I just saw a humming bird. She came to the lilac bush which hasn't had any flowers for months. Humming birds visit the same flower over and over. They eat huge amounts. They're hard for cats to catch.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Phinney, the big black and white long hair, came across the lawn, talking the whole time. He understands me. He understands that I speak cat language. Well, and I fed him when his family was away so he thinks fondly of me now. I appreciate it when an animal allows me to approach. It's a cross-species thing.  

When I was on retreat in March, I walked down to the horses by the road in the morning after breakfast. I took an apple, cut in half, one half for each horse. Henry was greedy and he got both halves but he let me pet him and scratch behind his ears. He also rolled in the dirt a lot and had a grubby coat. The horses on the other side of the road were sleek and groomed. They were the upscale horses owned by wealthy Marin-ites. However, they were stabled in close quarters and Henry and his buddy had a few acres to roam (and to roll in the mud). 

Tonight, when I went for a swim with a friend, the lake was very choppy. Every stroke slapped and slid. Tonight I felt mortal. I could feel the water's impersonal body, the depth and the crossover. I never open my eyes when I swim in the lake, except to see where I'm going. I know there are shapes below me, uncoiling and wavering, peripheral.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ravi Shankar's daughter-sitar music-sky wring-juice-tomatoes with basil, pepper,salt,olive oil, balsamic vinegar, all from the garden, Ravi Shankar's daughter drift.

Monday, August 17, 2009

the unfortunate bedtime story  


proprioception     all topsy-turvy                 

she licked blood from my ankle  

how can you ask me to tell the truth    

little blue lumps     like monuments  

everyday strangle    

I only wanted peace 

someone to mist the hedges

when they threw the horse hair sofas on the garage    

I was sure I had seen a calamity  


her hands shaped like missiles  

after the Air Force jimmied the lock  

I took cover in the afterthought     

my hair captivates this month  

my shoes sparkle in glory  

rest a while against the yellow carcass    

peel me another Slim Jim    

grease coats my palm wine    

a rainbow was found the bassinet

it must be a fucking miracle  

strangers think they know me  

all because of the  ball peen hammer      

it grew in the garden next to the cabbage  

I over watered    

I make the same mistakes every year      

forgive everything I ever fed you    

I was only pretending to like you    

even the part about tucking you in         

no wonder you have bad dreams                 

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My daughter provides me with new music. I'm listening to The Girl From Ipanema, all spacey and dreamy, a girl band. 'Member that song, anyone could sing it, all breathy and slinky? Yeah.
I'm back after a few weeks of various types of recreation. Mostly recently Portland where I firmed up my upper arms and neck muscles by painting an effing ceiling with a roller. Gawd. There's torture and there's torture. We even went bike riding after and rode to dinner and rode home in the freezing dark in our wet bike clothes. What do I think? I'm young and resilient? Ha! Much groaning and taking of medication ensued. 

What I really want to say is that during the camping part of my adventure, Hazel and Milo put on a play, well, several plays. Daniela helped (goaded them on really). She was the stage hand/costumer/announcer/scary goblin-witch. Oh, and curtain opener/fixer because the curtain kept falling down, rigged between two trees and made of beach towels, tarps and table cloths. 


Scene I

Curtains open on the Seattle Lakes Players (sic)

Hazel is sitting on her pink beach chair wearing a crown held on with twine. She is enigmatic and says nothing. Milo is off to the side, also wearing a crown and holding a magic wand. I think Hazel had one too. Then the goblin showed up (dress rehearsal the goblin was a witch but I guess she was too scary) and she was dispatched with a few magic wand taps. Whew. 

Scene II

Milo, dressed as a Jedi Knight, is brandishing a light saber and Hazel is wandering around the stage. Rachel, another kid has shown up and apparently, she is perfect for a new part (?) so she joins the play, mostly by jumping up and down  and saying "I'm in the play, I'm in the play!" We are to get up and move to the bushes where we stand and look at was deep.

Scene III

The plot is a bit confusing but that is the way it is with magic. Milo and Hazel were now part of a complicated Harry Potter script which involved charms and spells like "hubba-wubba' and "shazam-o". Rachel's mom came to get her for dinner so the play devolved after that. Fortunately, our dinner was almost ready and there were some-mores and a blazing charcoal briquet fire (burn ban, shucks) later. 

Hazel got stung by a bee the next day. It was the end of innocence.  

The last day it rained and Maya insisted that we camp in the desert next year. *sigh* It's lovely to lie in a tent and listen to the rain. It's gross to pack up in many garbage bags filled with wet, muddy gear and head for home, windows completely steamed up.

Still, each year there are more people on our camping trip than there were the previous year. And I am bringing my bed from home next time. That, or I'm getting me an RV. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Home for an overnight before the continuation of vacation=Part II. We are putting together an Obama jigsaw puzzle. I am working on Barack's teeth. Barack Obama has very even and white teeth.

 Orcas Island had much weather, all kinds, and marathon swimming in the lake. We were chased away by the rain on the last day but we did go to Doe Bay to soak in the hot tubs. And watch the sun go down. 

Sometimes, naked men should just cover up. I mean. Not pretty. Sorry about that but just not pretty. I won't elaborate. Hot tubs-Doe Bay clothing optional-naked men. Women are just nicer to look at. 

Monday, August 03, 2009

Tonight some of my family arrives, with grandson Milo. Then my house will stop being hot and quiet. It will be hot and noisy. Then more family on Wednesday. And J. Thursday we go to Orcas where we will be able to climb Mount Constitution and look down on the world. The whole world. Mountains and oceans. We will kayak and bike and hike. We will play scrabble and make some-mores (which are actually yucky but an essential part of the camping experience) and we'll have fires so our clothes will smell like smoke. Everything will smell like smoke.

Then there is Doe Bay, a hippie resort with outside hot tubs and a huge sauna. We can sneak in at night and sit in the steamy water and look over the water and the trees and all those Northwesty things. Maybe we'll look for some herons, in honor of R.

I have several Leo's in my life and they are all excellent. Extremely important. If I could role them all into one person, they could rule the world. or at least Seattle and Portland. Or maybe they could just rule Powell's, the best bookstore anywhere on earth. Their poetry section is respectably huge. And it's not in the darkest dustiest (sp?) most far away back corner with only 2 books, one of them the "world's greatest poetry from the 14th century to the present day" with the 3 requisite women: Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, and Muriel Rukeyser and 85 men. The other book is a Robert Frost collection.

Not that I'm bitter.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The rain forest was cool and sunny. We swam in Lake Quinault, mountains all around. Gawd, this state is effing beautiful. Even the Germans at the lodge thought so. I swam out as far as I dared. The waves were very wavy, with little white caps whapping me. I love to swim, sometimes it is the best, even better than sex, maybe it is sex, fluid and floaty, breathless, washed and washed. 

And lakes hardly ever have sharks. A comfort.