Thursday, January 29, 2009

Being A Person

Be a person here. Stand by the river. Invoke
the owls. Invoke winter, then spring.
Let any season that wants to come here make its own
call. After that sound goes away, wait.

A slow bubble rises through the earth
and begins to include sky, stars, all space,
even the outracing, expanding thought.
Come back and hear the little sound again.

Suddenly this dream you are having matches
everyone's dream, and the result is the world.
If a different call came there wouldn't be any
world, or you. or the river, or the owls calling.

How you stand here is important. How you
listen for the next things to happen. How you breathe.

William Stafford

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I have been listening to harp music all day. There is only one fallacy and I have forgotten it in the stumble. Wipe down the counters and go home, Madge.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

When I was in the 6th grade, I was chosen to write to President Eisenhower for his birthday. Apparently my handwriting was the best in the class, according to Mrs Schultz, even better than Lee Hetu who got pissed that I was chosen. I have never felt the urge to write to a president again, until now.

Dear Barack,

I'm not worried for myself. I'm worried about the families I take care of, the ones having babies. The ones raising babies. Around here, it's me and the cats. But the faces of the mothers and fathers follow me into sleep. They crowd my room when I wake up.

I'm on my way to a birth tonight. I want all the mothers and fathers to have work and houses and food. Would you see what you can do?

Your friend,


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Welcome to Denver

Maya and I went to Denver this weekend and heard the piece Diane Benjamin wrote using five poems about women/war/peace etc. One of the poems was mine and I thought, what the heck, I'll go and hear the Denver Women's Choir sing it. So we went to Denver, which if you have never been, is very clean and very high up in the air so you get out of breath going up stairs. There was much groovy-ness (sp-help me Martha!) there, electro cars, rent-a bikes for city employees, vegan restaurants and lots o space. I think the city might be itty and then there is massive prarie all around, not many trees. Today on the way to the airport we saw three coyotes (howdy brothers!) loping along beside the highway. Also the sign above. Hmmm. Thoughtful, too.

Everyone was so polite and helpful. It made me a little nervous. We tried to visit the State capitol building but it was closed. However, the art museum wasn't and we spent all afternoon there. Oh, Denver has sun, something I'm not used to in a city, Seattle being a hobbit hole type of place. And the art museum had beautiful light, so much so that the prone woman who looks so lifelike in a surreal way has to be put in a shady place because otherwise she gets 'tan'. I'm never sure about making art that looks exactly like something; bodies, hairdryers, hubcaps, etc out of lipstick or gum wrappers or dental floss. I prefer big messy canvases so I can go up to them and bury myself in the paint and the brush strokes. One painting was a copy of a photograph a la Chuck Close and you couldn't even see any strokes, it was absolutely smooth.

I forgot that the concert involved music. Singing. Beautiful voices. I thought I might jump out of my skin. I was asked to stand up TWICE as one of the poets. I'm sure I turned a deep horrid red. 'My' poem-song had a soloist, egad and her voice was lovely. I thought after jumping up and making a fool of myself I would faint or cry big heaving sobs. And with my kid beside me. Fortunately, I held it together and didn't wet myself after all. When I get a copy of the concert, I'll post it, if I can stand it. The conposer told me she might contact me again with a request to write for her.

Oh, the Seattle ariport is a wee bit lax in the security check area. They missed a (mostly)empty tube of toothpaste, skin lotion and most importantly, a tiny penknife on my key chain. O0000. But those Denver folks were on the ball! They even gave me a baggie to put my non-offending items in after giving me a lecture and pointing out the 4 oz lettering on the tubes and waggling the dreadful penknife in my face. I was appropriately chasened. And the city was saved by their quick wittedness.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rebecca read Cadaver Dogs last night at Hugo House. In the whole universe, that poem the way she reads it, it festers, it shakes, it rolls toward the red red sea.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rebecca reads tonight from Cadaver Dogs and I'm going. Obama is the new prez too. I wonder how he spent his day? I'm still getting choked up. My astrologer says I'm gonna be in chaos for a while longer so look out. What does that mean? Don't walk in wind storms so trees don't fall on me? Too late-well, no trees fell but try to keep me from wind storms. They're great, esp the ones you can lean into and not fall down. Weather reminds us we have bodies, lungs and legs and such.

I'm going for the last of the sunlight and thank a goddess my friends and I still have jobs. Thank you, Athena.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I just remembered on this most wonderful day. When I was in Kopan, the monastery in Kathmandu, there was a nun who had two rabbits in a cage. She would feed them greens and walk around the stupa chanting mantras for their benefit. One bunny was brown, the other was black and white.

Lucky bunnies.
It is officially Tuesday, Obama's big day. I'm going to drink hot chocolate and watch the festivities in my bathrobe. For some reason, it is a work day. No one should work today. There should be more dancing, singing and merriment. Everyone should get their jobs and houses back. The prison doors open. Animals quit factory farms. Puppy mills and dog fights end forever. Everyone has enough to eat and a place to live. And warm clothes. Everyone is loved. Alright, even mosquitoes.

O joy, o rapture, as they say in Oz.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Salmonella in peanut butter is not acceptable. We vegans LIVE on peanut butter. Peanut butter toast, scrambled peanut butter, peanut butter soup, etc. Without peanut butter we are bereft. We will turn to tofu.

I went to Portland and J beat me at Scrabble every time. I did not win once, not once. Why, you ask, do I keep playing. I keep thinking I will win this time, this time is my time. I live in delusion.

We had to buy a Scrabble game so we went to the mall. I walked down the doll aisle and there were these Sweet Baby dolls that started cooing and babbling when I walked by. Creepy, so creepy. You squeeze their tummies and they giggle and squeal. Gross.

Tuesday holy cow.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Oh, I washed my CPR, NNR and midwifery license cards in the wash. They must have been in a pocket. They are VERY CLEAN. And curly now they are dried.
I just took this on-line test for neonatal resuscitation because I have to every few years and work on a baby dummy too. Anyway, I did ok except for the ethics part of the test which I just barely passed. Oh-oh. My lack of ethics have caught up with me. The questions were not very hard but when you start talking about ethics committees and lawyers, I just freeze up. The old worm hole of life and death. Shudder.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I read poetry tonight in Kirkland. It could have been worse. It could have been Everett, though I have nothing against Everett. It's just farther away from my leetle home.

Then we ate sushi and drank sake. Sake is yummy, esp the cunning wee cups. The poetry had nothing to do with sushi. It was a mall moment. The bookstore was in a mall. There are many malls in Kirkland and they all look alike. I couldn't find the bookstore and I almost gave up in despair but with perseverance and help from a nice QFC lady, I found the effing bookstore and my friend who was reading. She read a lot of sexy poems with great verve. I was surprised because I hadn't seen her verve before. Most enjoyable.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Those are the Himalayas from the airplane window. Uh, Yeti airlines.

I was on Yeti airlines sucking on a little mint waiting for a yeti to come down the aisle in an apron and a ginger ale. I was sadly disappointed.

Monday, January 12, 2009

love affliction

“The showers are for bathing. Please do not urinate in the showers.
Use the toilets for urination.”

Medgar Evars Swimming Pool, Seattle, WA


I don’t care about your back taxes or the hole in your roof your thighs are my favorite kind of dessert topping my hands hurt from the roses they are bastards ripping your special LL Bean outerwear catalog with their name tags I crave your beatitudes when you exhale I see stars oh the milky way melts on my navel I have a series to co-write with the endangered species act so wait for me in the backseat our special date night I rub the naugahyde with my taillights I could caress your stumps all day lick my grammatical errors I’ll drink your bathtub if you fill it with delicious eyebuds all my dreams came true when you showed up at the Jiffy Mart in an adorable ski mask I know you didn’t mean to step on my feet that’s ok I have more feet I love your verbal poetry the way you use a nail gun piss off the porch I’ll give you a gangplank polish my apple I’ll give you a headlock quell your phobias with a Cub Scout I’ll give you a wallop

your affectionate lout

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What's with curling-the sport, eh? Scrubbing a big round stone thing with brooms up and down the court. I bet it's Scottish. Love Oban, but haggis, kilts and large stick heaving, well, they are sorta my people so I can scoff.

I submitted poems tonight. It only took about 4 hours because my cable/internet is glacial.

Wishbone has passed out on the scratching post after frollicking with catnip. I say, "Hey, you wanna get high?" and they come right over. Three cat faces looking up at me, waiting to roll in catnip. I think they should go to work tomorrow so I can stay here in my bathrobe all day.

One thing about being vegan. It's a cheap grocery ride. Everything has some kind of animal in it. I will admit, I bought leather shoes when I was on Orcas Island. Major sale, helping the islanders with their dreadful xmas season...And anyway, they are red. Who can refuse red shoes?

I have been staying up way too late, too afraid to go to sleep. Um, I just don't want to sleep, yes, I know it is a symptom of depression, so? Maybe I'm not quite over my brother's death. Maybe there are monsters under the bed waiting for me to fall asleep so they can eat me. I'm going to bed right now, with the NYT. And a handful of cats.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I just saw "Slumdog Millionaire" and it made me want to go back to India, Mumbai yikes. The mountains of trash, slums, incessant traffic, horns honking and dirty, raggety little kids begging. The movie kinda gets it right, the garbage and the beauty, saris in all colors next to flea bitten dogs. I have a fever, India fever...

Martha actually wrote an ode for the inauguration (I almost said coronation). She used quotes and the right form. She did the assignment. I looked at it and dismissed it but not Martha. And, as ever, she was color coordinated. And Martha is our punctuation person. Without her, we would all be lost in the hell of misplaced commas and incorrect---. Thank Thor she is there to straighten us out.

I think I will start thanking ancient gods and goddesses for stuff. Especially Demeter for letting us have a bit more light every day. This darkness at four in the afternoon is positively depressing. And Persephone, the twit, don't get me started.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I'm still in my bathrobe. Oh-oh. My answering service called to tell me they are's the economy, stupid. I have one week to find another service. Okey, dokey.

I'm going outside soon. Being vegan is no fun. No scrambled eggs. No cheese. No oysters. It is tragic. I go to the Co-op for food; lettuce, hummus, crackers. *sigh*

In California, vegans are groovy. They have vegan hotels, vegan coffee bars and vegan cars. Honest.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Ha! My computer went to the computer hospital today so I had to finish a poem today for workshop tomorrow and now I can't worry about it. No grousing about how I have nothing and I hate poetry.

My neighbor started cursing me when it began to snow (again!) the other day, like it was my fault. And I suppose the rain is my fault too. Ok, sure, I'll take the blame. Except for chia pets and paint by numbers. I will not take the blame for those.

All right. I used to do paint by numbers. The paint smelled really delicious. Smelling paint by numbers paint when I was a child probably led to my life of drug addiction and crime.


I hate that, sitting in your car and you can't open the doors because of the water and you just sit there like a dummy because you ignored the warnings. Don't let this happen to you. And if you must drive into the Snoqualamie, don't say I didn't warn you.

Love and kisses,

Marti I’m damned sorry about your sister we walked all that way in the dark with other pilgrims signs pictures as if the dead could hear us as if they would come back or they’d be waiting at the finish line to wave at us not these pathetic candles as we sat before ghosts and wept I don’t mean to be maudlin on Orcas Island the weather is big today and it is 2009 and we will have a prince in the whited house at least we hope so he will get us out of the mess so there will be fewer suicides by rope poison jumping bullets carbon monoxide our savior will prevent all future hopelessness to occur we know this is not possible we are aware by our own familiar routines forever altered swerving we swerved to avoid the same accident as you and I look at our daughters our lovers our closets and kitchens and carpets and dust we know anyone is capable of such a thing such a terrible thing a knife in the belly pills in the hand we held hands to remind us we owe others our lives our industry love we have spent crave to feel what life is with the suffering we know is ahead we survived we lived in the past suicides were buried in unhallowed ground as if you or I believe this but there it is the ultimate erasure that unmoors us unmoors everyone today on Orcas I think about Geoffrey I think about you and your sister how they made us take a journey we did not want to take I look at the foaming water and I know I could not walk into her depths and drown they were consumed they had a plan they could not help themselves can we forgive them? can we forgive ourselves? in fierce love Beth

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I am addicted to the NYT. I get it delivered every Sunday. My system goes like this. First, the front page section, which is always grim, bad news around the world with occasional bright spots. like the blind lady whose service animal is a black and white miniature horse named Panda. Then, the Week in Review section, the pundits on the latest imbroglio in Washington. Oh, I immediately toss the sports section and the financial section (I am a grasshopper, after all.) Then I spend some time with Arts, dance which I will probably never see, plays I will never attend, well, not in New York and movies, which I might. Then (rub hands here for emphasis) the Style section. Oh glee, oh joy, the problems of the very rich, esp right now. Among the latest cocktail recipes and the most exclusive Manhattan club opening and who saw whom, is a half page of pics of New Yorkers, in their styley garb. Always some fab gay guys in lime green capes and dandified shoes. In winter a feature on mini dogs dressed in furs sticking out of designer bags that cost a college education. Hemlines and boots, what to wear when it is cold or hot or Easter Sunday. This past Sunday, a series of pics of somebody wearing their collection of designer coats from previous years. The poor dear, having to wear something old...sigh. What next, last year's shoes? Oh gawd.

There was even an article once about a surgeon who was amputating women's little toes so they could fit into their Jimmy Choo's. The hubris! The pathos! The entertainment value!

Well, my car has arrived and I must go. My mani and pedi await.

Monday, January 05, 2009

When the oil light comes on and the engine starts to make a funny sound, STOP THE CAR RIGHT AWAY. Honest, I would not make this up. No, we can't get to the next exit, really, it's right up there, etc because then the car sounds like a broken dish washer, which is not a good sound and it will be a very expensive vacation plus having to call your sister to come and get you and the tow truck guy might have a concealed weapon and so forth.

New Year's Reso # 12

I'm just trying to be effing helpful.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Back, la-la, back from Orcas Island, a very beautiful place with a cabin and a fireplace and eagles and big booming waves. I cooked better than ever, something about having a minimum of ingredients and someone else's utensils and no tv or radio or internet or cellphones. Ah, bliss. It was effing cold so we holed up and played Scrabble every evening. I suck at Scrabble. I am so competitive too. It was difficult not to pout when I used words like 'moue' and 'raspy' and I still lost.

I have a new favorite bird. They're called kinglets and they have greenish feathers and black stripes on their faces and yellow or red stripes on the tops of their heads. And they're weensy. They do a hover too, like humming birds. People go all shivery for eagles and hawks but chicadees and juncos are more interesting. And they let you get up close to them while they pick around at your feet.

All the cats are lying on me. They missed me and they didn't poop everywhere like that one time...just a bit of barf, nothing to get excited about really.

For the vegan challenged, here's a recipe I made up with leftover quinoa:

A few cups of cooked quinoa
sauteed onion and garlic, just a 1/2 cup
2 tbs sesame tahini
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brewer's yeast (very important)
a bunch of curry powder
1/4 cup grated fake cheese
chopped parsey for color

I tried to make it into patties to fry in olive oil but it stuck and fell apart so I ended up scrambling it. It was crunchy and curry-ish and delish. I would add some currents next time.