Friday, April 30, 2010

I hear that the malaria meds I start taking tonight or tomorrow gives you LUCID DREAMS. Hmmm, well, I'll see what happens. I think I already have those kinds of dreams, where I conduct the dream, know I'm dreaming, can fly in my dreams etc. We'll see.

My daughter called and asked about hurricanes in Haiti. She's a little worried about me. I'm a little worried about me. And all of us. Meanwhile, Brenda's chickens are growing and I took her the remainder of the starts I had from my garden, lettuce, chard, kale. Her chickens are black and my cats go over to her house to stare at them. Soon the chickens will be too big to mess with. In the meantime, Hugo sits and stares at them. He sees drumsticks. The chickens see a tiger.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It is 100 degrees in Haiti today. I am going there in 9 days. I put up my 'one person tent' in the living room. It's huge. I can almost stand up in it. 100 degrees and raining. Nothing dries. Ever. I'm gonna treat my scrubs with DEET, evil poison. Karen, the other midwife I'm going with, suggests that we pile all our stuff in my tent cuz her tent is weensy. I don't mind. We pitch tents on the roof of the hospital or in the concrete courtyard.

The hospital is no longer providing us with food. Sooooo, we don't know if there is a way to heat, um, dry oatmeal, almond butter and raisins. For 2 weeks. It's probably better than what the Haitians have.

I'm bringing a skirt. I never wear skirts. I have one skirt. We might 'go out' so we need a skirt. Gardening shoes. That's what I'm wearing, on the plane, on the ground, in the hospital and not the kind with holes in them.

I'm feeling a little scared. What am I doing? What will I see? What will break my heart? All of it?

Monday, April 26, 2010

I have to go for a walk because I can hear a helicopter, very close, very loud. The cloud cover keeps me from seeing it. In my hood, helicopters hover over crime scenes or SeaFair. Sheesh. The noise is making the cats jumpy, which they are often anyway.

I reread Richard Siken's Crush for the 20th time. Here's why:


Tell me about the dream where we pull bodies out of the lake
and dress them in warm clothes again.
How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running
until they forget they are horses.
It's not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,
it's more like a song on a policeman's radio,
how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days
were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
to slice into pieces.

Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it's noon, that means
we're inconsolable.
Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
Tell me we'll never get used to it.

I gave a copy of the book to my ex. She didn't get it. She returned it to me. I should have known. Sometimes understanding a few poems together is what it takes. At least you can try.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I sent my manu to a contest. With twelve dollars. I passed it over a green candle and some sage. Then I danced around the living room to Otis Redding holding the envelope with the check in it.

Then I'll get a chapbook of my very own. I know what I want on the cover. Oh, and fame and glory will be mine. Some people buy lottery tickets. I submit to chapbook contests. Ha!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rachel Carson was a poet. That is all.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's blowy and dark and evening coming on. I'm going for a walk before I get called back to my mom in labor. Without this kind of weather, sunlight is impossibly boring. Like southern California. Snore. (No offense, SC).

The writers flock tomorrow. I have a tattered old poem to take. They won't know the difference. We'll eat hummus and cookies and drink wine and laugh a lot.

Right now the wind is making noise in the trees, whirring noise. The sky in lowering. Ah, yes.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I want to sleep outside in the fragrant air. I lived in Los Angeles when I was 19. In the spring, the air smelled like roses. And a lemon tree grew next to my apartment building.

These things don't happen in the Northeast. Spring smells like mud there. And fierce.

I have a friend who has no sense of smell. You can't taste very well without a sense of smell. Truly tragic even though she doesn't think so.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Eye exam today. I never know if I'm lying when they ask "1 or 2, which is clearer?" when they're flipping the lens around. I like to think about it, ponder it, ask existential questions. What is the meaning of clearer? How do I know? Why does one eye behave differently than the other? What is the importance of the "dominant side"? And this is after they've put the drops in so you look like you're on acid. Then they give you those geriatric sunglass things. And they expect you to drive yourself home. Wearing large foldy dark glasses with your pupils dilated to the size of saucers.

I only drive into a ditch once.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Still sick, still home in my bathrobe. The weather is gorgeous and I'm having a hell of a time staying inside.

My dining room table looks like a very small relief center-mosquito netting, serious nerdy sun hat, 50 block sunscreen, nasty meds for malaria and traveler's diarrhea, immunization records including Hep A, water purifying tablets, a pile of baby clothes, money belt and small bag for passport. Oh, Ambien for sleep, which doesn't work for me. I have yet to lay in meds for hemorrhage, suture material or spare scrubs. A midwife I talked with this morning said she even left her bras behind and her spare shoes.

A mom came to the hospital where I will be working with her young baby. She offered the baby in exchange for a tent (it's now the rainy season). Gawd. I'm leaving my tent behind when I go and everything else I can think of.

I'm eating a big bowl of hijiki-the Japanese call it 'black rice'.

Abundance-that's what we have. Abundance. And luck.

I watched this BBC thing last night about the salmon run in the Northwest. It made me weep and think about Martha. The salmon are like saints. They benefit all beings, every part of their lives. And it's visible. Some of them swim 3000 miles to their spawning ground, to breed, die and feed all life around them, even the trees.

The drugs you take for malaria can give you bad dreams. Groovy.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Patti Smith was just being interviewed on my local TV station. Always a surprise to see a demi-god on TV.

Definitely still not well, end of the day with sneezing and runny nose. Time to stay in the house and not inflict myself on the public.

My writing group is meeting again, oh gawd. What I've been writing is is awful, whiny poor-me head cold-y stuff. Jasmine rubbed Chinese stinky oil on my back and 'spooned' me. She took a ceramic spoon and rubbed my back until I bruised. It's good for you. At least that's what she told me. I can't see my back so I'm missing out on the drama.

Brandy and codeine can help you sleep. All day.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I'm definitely sick, with an impressive cough. There were those on the month-long retreat who would have to leave the hall (very quiet) to hack up a lung in the foyer. Is that a word, foyer? Do you sometimes write a word and you're sure You've misspelled it because it looks wrong and then you realize you can't use the word because you don't know how to spell so you look for another word that means the same thing (approximately). This is a technique for writing poetry. It's called the 'Miss Anderson School for the Spelling Challenged" technique.

Or perhaps it's early dementia. At least I can spell that.

My daughter has already scoped out a 'retirement community' near her house. Gawd. Just because I occasionally fall down while wearing Dansko's (and see, I had to take my shoe off to see how to spell Dansko). Everyone falls down wearing Dansko's. Now I'm wondering about the apostrophe. Should it be there or not?

I have a fever. I know this because the cats are sitting on me. Clearly I am the warmest thing in the house.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Today I drove by the little park next to the house where Kurt Cobain died. There is a bench in the middle. It was covered with flowers and candles. They new owners tore down the building where he actually died. The grieving goes on and on, even though there is no "place". We keep visiting the poets because we have to.

I'm all shivery. I think I'm getting a cold, an excuse for hot toddies, brandy, hot water, honey and a curl of lemon zest. And complete sloth on the couch in my jammies.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Oh, I don't have a melanoma on my face. And I no longer have the little pokey sutures sticking out. Jasmine took them out. Next time I have stitches that need removal, I'm asking her. Maybe it's because she's an acupuncturist.
I'm working too much and it squeezes my brain. I'm no good after about 5PM. Uh, your, uh, the muscle where your baby is, called, uh... and your cervix dilates and uh... I admit to my clients that I've eaten almond butter and crackers for dinner so my vegetable deficit is contributing to my impoverished brain cells.

However, I'm going to Tennessee in October to present at the MANA conference, the national midwifery organization. Yeehaw. Fame and glory, here I come.

Monday, April 05, 2010

I did it. I have a new car, OMG. And I drove to the movies tonight to meet a new friend from my retreat. We saw the gawdawful Sandra Bullock thing, what were the Oscar people thinking??? Were they desperate??? But the best part is that I went to my new car after the movie and unlocked the door, the CAR ALARM WENT OFF FOREVER. I was frantically trying everything I could think of to get it to shut up. Nothing worked. I walked back into the theatre and called AAA. They had no relief for me. By this time, the alarm had ceased so I crept back there to see if it would behave but no, as soon as I put the key in the ignition, off it went again. Unbearable, it was so loud. I walked down the street and pretended it wasn't my car.

Then I had a brilliant idea. What if I used the clicker thing to unlock the door. Aha!!! the alarm didn't go off. Of course, the guy at the car store told me he had disarmed the alarm because I asked him too. Car alarms make me want to kill and smash, pacifist that I am.

And don't for heaven's sake, see the horrible Sandra Bullock movie. Everyone was terrible, even Kathy Bates. And there was one of those precocious kids in it, saying adult type phrases. Oh yuck. Blech.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

What is with the earthquakes? I can't keep track of them. And I can't be everywhere at once. I'm still going to Haiti in about a month.

I am thinking about buying a different car, no not a new car, are you kidding. I've owned one new car in my life and it was actually bought by my partner at the time. I wasn't responsible. For me a new car has less than 80,ooo miles, hasn't been in an accident lately and has four tires, all inflated. My current car is, how can I say this, dumb. It's a two seater, there's no trunk and it's so low to the ground, other cars can't see it so I wobble down the freeway out of the way of taller (bigger, scarier) cars.

Here's the problem, besides how I'm going to pay for it (I'm sure something will occur to me). The Bargaining Thing. Oh, and being a female girl sort of person, easily intimidated by evil car salesmen. I know exactly what I want and how much $$ I wanna pay. I'm just afraid I'll be talked into buying a green sedan with a missing bumper and fuzzy dice. Maybe I'll bring Lupine, my scratchy attack cat and level the playing field. While they're bandaging their slash wounds, I'll negotiate a great price and make a break for it.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

My Spiritual Life

John Travis, crazy wisdom, beloved teacher.
Some patron saints to be aware of:

dog bite-St Hubert
homosexuals-St Sebastian (who knew?)
hair dressers-St Martin de Porres
poets-St David
surgery patients-Infant of Prague

You gotta love the Catholics.
So there's this wee spot on my face I've been calling a 'tree ring' and I finally had it evaluated today and the perky young doctor said "hmmm" when she looked at it which is never a good sign in my experience so now I have a large-ish bandaid on my face because she took a biopsy of it which included injecting my face with novocaine (something I've never considered doing even when I was interested in ingesting various drugs) and taking samples which sounds like taking samples of the ground water to check for radon or some other toxin. She told me it's probably not melanoma but if it is, they'll just cut it off and I'll have a 'barely noticeable scar'.

Cool. I've always wanted to tell people I'd been mauled by a bear.

I bet there is a saint for facial scars or surgery. I'm gonna look it up.