Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm supposed to submit poetry today. It's Saturday and that's the rule. I don't want to, too disspirited. Besides, I'm going to the train station at noon and that's all I'm going to say about that.

I submitted to Paris Review and they sent their rejection on an itty bitty piece of paper. Sheesh, they can't afford a whole piece or what, lots of scrap paper to get rid of? At least Handsome Journal sent a whole piece handwritten with beautiful handwriting. I put it up over my computer with Kelly's poem. Kelly's poem is called Boxtalk and I missed the workshop she brought it to. She sent it to me and so I encountered it straight on, noone reading it to me. I wish I could publish it here. It is so brilliant and shivery and brutal. I still use it for inspiration.


If we are to build the future from fireflies
Start with mortality
Or morality, you choose one or the other
Not both, my heart

Find yourself on this compass
You are here, I am there
We meet in the middle, which
Houses a few cedars, an occasional cattail

An ocean in between, a tunnel through the ground
Sailing ships and candlesticks
Darkness random flavors
Cinnamon portabella lavender

Here, give me your hand
Or the body part you wish to relinquish
I have need of a familiar
For this turbulence

Shake a vessel barrels roll into the sea
Fish tangled and gutted
A mountain crashed down on us
Sharks, aluminum foil, cherry pits

What I mean to talk about is smothered
Pressed against your breastbone
With every breath you collapse into a levy
While I float tethered to the mast

Shipwreck, home to bottom feeders
Lions , butterfly bushes
All camphorated handkerchiefs
Your grandmother’s ghost perfumes the sheets


Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah breaks my heart. Every time.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I realize that sunny days are all the same. I was so bored in LA. There weren't even any seasons. Sun edges everything, the leaves and grass and rocks. Overcast, that's my kind of weather, blurry outlines, indistinct borders and boundaries. Comes from upstate New York, land of lake effect cold, ice, mountains of snow. They say the Iroquois cursed the settlers for stealing salt so rain fell all the time. Like Seattle. Plus we gear up here, sunglasses, sunscreen, whathaveyou. And the serious sun lives elsewhere.

Los Angeles has a texture. New York City has a texture. You can shower at night and wash off grit and dirt and your top layer of skin. New York is full of skin cells. All those people.

I'm procrastinating. I don't want to write poetry. Well, I do but it will all be bad because I'm in love and the poetry is dreck. Love and/or sex poetry is usually bad. Not that all the good ideas are taken, exactly, but there is Anne Sexton and Richard Siken and Shakespeare.

I'm also angry so I could write some anger poems. Maybe I'll combine anger and love and/or sex. Then a dash of ennui. Perfect.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Yes I will. If you ask me to. Oh yes. Horses run through the house, looking for gold.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


When you get divorced, you have a tendency to wake up really early, staring at the ceiling, thinking that the light will come in and the day will start at any time. Not so. So if your laptop is right by the bed (not a good idea according to my psychic-don't sleep with electronics), you can start writing emails and poems until the cats come in and slide around on the floor while fighting.
At least they have not had a repeat of the poop/pee fest of the weekend. Such delicate creatures, so sensitive. They are asleep on my bed right now, looking all innocent.

I think I should wear my red shoes today. I have a collection of shoes. My daughter is my pusher. She brings suitcases full of shoes and I can pick. I have green, red, black, purple and teal. I have ones with swirls on them. I have strappy one and plain ones. I only have one pair of high heels which I haven't worn for a long time, no opportunity. I also have a slinky black dress which I might still be able to wear, with the proper accessories, of course. I might actually have an occasion to wear it and someone to wear it for. When I wear my slinky dress and high heels, I feel fabulous. I think a limo should drive me around and I will drink champaigne from my high heel shoe and I can toss my head back and laugh, a sound like bells.

Then divorce is a distant memory.

Monday, August 25, 2008

revenge of the cat people

I once had cats who could be LEFT AT HOME b'y THEMSELVES and they didn't self destruct. No, they ate their food and USED A LITTER BOX and didn't barf on my bed.

I was gone for 3 measly days and I came home very late last night, ie. 2AM. After unloading my kayak, no mean feat and getting all my gear into the house and knowing I had an 8AM client, I began to notice a 'smell'. First there was the rug by the front door all balled up and as I approached, I noticed many poops all over it and much pee. Ok, a moment of unhappiness. Then there was a dab of cat barf on the big rug in the living room, alrighty. As I climbed the stairs to my room, I was seized with fear. Approaching my room, ok, a larger pile of barf on my bed, whew, not poop. But the guest room, aha, another balled up rug, much more poop and pee AND pee ON THE BED. On to the bathroom, another balled up rug and, you quessed it, more pee/poop combo plate. What the fark? Did the cat door become stuck and they couldn't get to the basement and the litter boxes?? Did a burgler get in and traumatize them so they completely forgot their manners?

I stripped all the beds, put massive poop into the toilet, took the rugs outside and left them on the porch and got jolly 4 hours before work.

Obviously, they cannot be left alone. Or they will gang up on me and turn my house into one giant litter box. I wanted to strangle each one of them but I was too tired.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I feel mentally ill this morning. It's because of no sleep. I sleep about 4 hours a night. This is a poor situation for a midwife. I listen to a 'calming' cd and I think that is the problem. The cd makes me want to scream. Not sleeping makes me want to scream. The skylight makes me want to scream. My anger that recently surfaced makes me vibrate, a kind of high pitched whining sound, which makes me want to scream. I have been listening to the sound track from Mamma Mia! nonstop and you say, aha! that's why you feel this way. Mahler might be a better choice. But I am compelled. Every time I get in my car, I put on the damn cd. The songs are so bouncy and trite, they don't even use real instruments fer chrissake. I don't think the piano is real. The issue here is that I am driving to Portland today and I don't want to fall asleep at the wheel. Woman found today in overturned car, kayak smashed into the roof, soundtrack from Mamma Mia ! blasting.


My anger-this ain't no righteous indignation, baby. This is a flame thrower, Mount St Helens, an eternally burning lake, a nuclear explosion, stings from a million bees, a tsumani of papercuts. Seattle has been raining, at least if I spontaneously combust, the rain might put me out. I wonder how long I can a.) be this angry b.) be this sleep deprived and c.) listen to Mamma Mia! every effing day?

Without you, I am an incubus, a mini-bus, a blunderbuss.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's too late to eat dinner. Does a banana count? I'm driving to Portland tomorrow and my kayak has been on top of my car for TWO DAYS collecting the proverbial downpour. I bet there are fish up there swimming around. I'll just slosh my way to Portland, how's that?

I packed Sarah Vaughn and Dead Can Dance and Beethoven's 9th and Astral Weeks, Van Morrison's finest album, made when he was 12 or something. The guy is a genius with zero stage presence, none at all. He stands there stiffly, like someone has a gun pointed at his head.

Last night I had a rageful dream. I was lava, the red haze, about to explode. When I woke this AM, I went for a run and with every step I was thinking,'I hate you, I hate you.' Whoa, I didn't even have anyone in mind, and then my brother floated in. So I hated him for a while, for killing himself, for being a jerk and killing himself. Then I started crying so by the time I got home, I couldn't see very well. It was raining but I threw myself face down on the grass and hollered for a while, clutching the dirt. Neighbors were walking by but I didn't care if they heard me. Finally, I sat up, wiped the snot off and went in the house. Time to start the day!

A bee stung me on the upper arm and it itches like crazy. I put ice on it and that helps. I think the bees are mad at me for making a scene. I like bees! I come in peace! I'm not mad at THEM.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

brilliant Skagit. I rode up to JoAnne and Jim's house yesterday to retrieve my kayak. Jim pointed to a branch high up and an owl peered down at me. This morning, quail ran ahead of my car when I left. Jim has planted an abundant garden and many dahlias in all colors. They live in a log cabin with half sawn logs as stairs. I woke during the night to rain on the skylight. Jim fell asleep in front of the Olympics and JoAnne and I watched a bit of trampoline, wha the heck?? I would never, ever bounce that high on an unstable surface AND do flips and back bends etc. No, I would not. Not ever.

Friday, August 15, 2008

It is hotter than g-d, hotter than a hot pocket, hotter than a penny driven rain. and my bedroom is hotter than all of that, hotter than the center of the earth in a red high heel. I have a painting of a coyote wearing red heels, that would be me in my animal incarnation. my tail is fluffy and my ears are large. I eat cats (sorry) and I stand in the road at 2 AM with attitude.

today is a day for total immersion in a large cold body of water. even with weeds (shudder).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

because of my busted mac I am bringing an old used poem to the writers. they don't know it is old and used. it will be our little secret. the mac person had the nerve to ask if I had backed up all my data. do they take me for a fool? of course not! harrumph.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This time I had port and cereal for dinner. The cereal had walnuts in it so there was protein. My mac is busted, kaput, squirrely, etc. First it behaved badly with earthlink then the arrow cursor stopped working, it is stuck in the corner of the screen, back to the store with the blue shirt people, give me strength.

I have fallen far below. We have fallen far below. I turn to you.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I have a fever. I think I'm in love or maybe I have allergies. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. Today I am planning to use Rescue Remedy for mood swings. I went to bed with paint on my fingers. Red paint. I used feathers and I glued them down. Perhaps the painting flew away. I have to go look and see if I left the window open. Love makes me anorexic. If I start losing weight, I'll know it isn't allergies. Sometimes, Job's travails come into my thoughts, unbidden.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I had toast and Scotch for dinner. Tomorrow I will have some vegetables. I am a good vegan. Except for the cheese.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I am recently arrived from Westport which, if you don't know, is on the coast of Washington where the BIG ocean is, not the little Puget Sound. I was there with my family and friends. It poured torrents. You wake up at night and the rain is bearing down on you and you are hoping you are not lying in a trough where a large puddle will be forming any minute. The only large guy person, Brian, built a fire with lighter fluid and that, apparently appeased the rain gods and it was sunny today so we could leave on a good note. Milo was in fine form in his Superman pjs and Hazel, the 3 year old wonder girl was there too. She swims in the NW ocean and she is FEARLESS. I believe the world will survive because Hazel is here and she will see to it. My friend Judith played Scrabble with me and whipped my ass. I hate that when someone says, "ah shucks, I don't play this very well" and they proceed to kill you.

In the morning, I could hear the kids singing songs about ducks and then they would get up at some gawdawful hour like 6 AM and stick their heads in the tents so we would get up, start the day and help them find and catch frogs. I told them they were poison dart frogs but they didn't believe me.

Children eat constantly. I had forgotten this fact. And they leave partly chewed apples around and the mothers finish them off. I remember that part. I did not have any s'mores. S'mores are gross, so sweet they make my teeth hurt. I remember liking them as a child, yuck. Sitting around the fire was our favorite unless it was pouring, which it mostly was. I smell like wood smoke now. I like it. It is a friendly camping kind of smell.

Tonight I will sleep in a bed with sheets and no one will be singing duck songs in the morning. Drat.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

further operations are postponed
if you want to investigate call first
the phones are all turned off
no reason annoying rings sound
like cats fighting
so if you want to visit
bring money chocolate
even though I have stopped eating
the money is for the fire
I no longer feel cold
here hold my fingers against your chest
I cannot refuse your attentions
rubbed out even in this light
your outline is faint porous
the broken moon lies in the dish
knife fork spoon

Milo, Maya and Eden are all here. Milo came in this morning in his Superman jammies, complete with cape. Last summer he was Superman all day, changing to Spiderman only when Superman's duds were too grungy, like when Superman turned bad and didn't shave. He also has Superman dolls with long capes for 'flying' around the house. This involves launching them from the bed or down the stairs. The result is 'broken neck Superman' and 'splatto Superman'.

Eden and I engaged in a cooking marathon yesterday. I forgot what it is like to have my family here. There is luggage and laundry everywhere. Friends come over to visit. We went to the store for provisions because, god forbid, we should starve. We made lasagna (with special homemade sauce, of course), African peanut stew and a giant salad with spelt berries in it. Who knew you could cook spelt berries. They brought a huge drippy bag of blackberries for a crumble but they are still in the fridge, making a puddle. On Thursday, we're going camping on the coast where Milo can fly from the dunes in his red cape.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

my new theory:: cats kill birds because birds were once dinosaurs and sabertooth tigers were leetle compared to brontosaurus and T-Rex. They probably just kicked those sabertooths to the curb, metaphorically speaking, or stepped on them or whatnot. So this is kitty revenge, many years later.
The poem below is a collaboration between Dana and me. Please read her description of our evening together. I had to hide the feather boa from the cats. They thought it was a giant bird and wanted to destroy it. I love it. I want to wear it to work. I am going hiking today and I think I will wear it on the trail. No hunter would dare shoot me.

Facebook says my name doesn't exist. It's not true. It does, it does!!! Perhaps I need a middle name. Any suggestions?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

suddenly orange roughy strewn across laps embarrasses nobody

Lester tinkers with minute follicles, abrasive contrarians.
Pedunculated litter lapses into shameful barrage, indecorous swills.
Storm drains allude to seasonal variations while sex devours facial territory like pleather. Not to mention fireflies, random harbingers.

Understand less than blue. More intemperate banalities.
Why is the fanbelt flirting with Dorton?
Mechanics gesticulate martyred fragrance.
The spillage weeps mistaken parts and ravishes labor laws.
Feather boas plunder certain boundaries. Obsequious margins blur.
Razzle-dazzle, he says, Lieutenant Gov’ner.

Don’t it, Zollie. Gimme that caulk gun. The roof bounces light.
Red tiles recoil underneath. Discriminate horizons multiplex flicker-code.
Hesitate. Stutter. Secure granulations, mild exfoliants.
Gravitate on stilts. Abandon all deliverables who obstacle.
Brace the fortress (obviously).

Slap the sturgeon. Slide the tongue toward water.
Gape at everything. Morse holds hooks out slant-wise.
Rudely black affections least obey.
Entangled surrogates respond in mime. Port of call.
Squinting, wide apertures demand compensation.
Seasick. Motionless. Stale. Drop the body.
Vessels demonstrate drag, waft occult moths.

Dana Guthrie Martin and Beth Coyote
understand less than blue martyred fragrance razzle dazzle - thanks, Dana for the poem and the feather boa. I am wearing it now.

Seafair is horrid, great big noise in my neighborhood and millions of cars. Ug.

Um, a composer contacted me about using a poem of mine in a composition she has been commissioned to write, omg. She's even paying me. More than a dollar. I'm gonna go to the premiere. In Denver. In January.

You may kiss my ring. Oh, I'm not THAT famous. But I am excited. Way.