Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I fear it is ****meat smell****wafting up the stairs. When I offered my home to the Taiwanese ladies (for 2 months! sob!), I didn't stop to think, a comment my mother often spat in my direction---"you never stop to think!!!---well, I didn't think about the food issue, or the shared space issue or the memories of my father intruding when I just want to sleep. You know that one. You wake up at night because you've been falling and you just landed with a thud, quick breath out and you are staring at the ceiling (or in my case, the dark skylight). You saw a spider earlier and you wonder if it is under the bed or in bed with you, biting little circles on your arms. Your father is holding your hand and driving the Chevy at the same time. The other kids aren't around. He shares his Necco wafers with you. You're wearing patent leather shoes so it must be a special day. You and Dad. Maybe you'll drive all the way to the country for roadside corn and strawberries. And you will eat all of them before you get home. There are juice stains on your dress. Your fingers are stained red. Strawberry seeds between your teeth.  

Monday, June 29, 2009

There are two ladies from Taiwan living in my house. Yesterday one of them flooded my bathroom. There is a large crock with cooked meat items in my fridge. As a vegan, I will brace myself every time I open the fridge door. I'm still at work. I'm afraid to go home.

If you have any questions about this current development, please direct your questions to the complaint department.

Thank you and have a nice day.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The sun is shining, the birds are twittering (not that twitter) and I have been crying for 3 days. I'm gonna take my sweetheart and our bicycles to the Burk-Gilman trail and we're gonna ride to effing Bothell. Then we'll eat the best raspberries and strawberries ever while dangling our feet in the big ole lake. I miss my dog. I miss my friend Negesti. I miss Karen and every other goddam person who died before they were supposed to. 

The Loud family across the street are strangely quiet. Maybe they're at church or something and he's yelling into a mic while folks cringe and sway.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Have not posted in days, very weary with life. Or is that of life. Hadda workshop last night. Brilliant people, brilliant poems. Brilliant Rebecca in a white floaty skirt and *vegan* treats. I notice when I am especially stressed, my right ear rings so loud. Hearing loss is an interesting thing. Sometimes I don't notice it at all, sometimes it is all I hear. 

I brought a poem about the Ballard bear. When my ear stops ringing, I'll post it. 

Monday, June 22, 2009

One more baby this morning. And a lovely baby she is too.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sometimes I have to take women to the hospital in an ambulance. Lights and sirens. Everybody lives happily ever after. Then my nervous system shudders to a halt. Right now, old episodes of Columbo is the medicine I am taking. Ol' one-eyed Peter Falk. When I used to watch those shows on network TV, I had no idea. About his eye. Now, I focus on it. The glass eye, the rumpled raincoat, the scuffed up shoes, the unlit cigar. I want him investigating my murder. He'd know it was the brother-in-law after my millions.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Very tired right now, too many babies being born and today is our Open House, a stupid idea if there ever was one. And I thought of it. Because I was waiting for this gal to call me back to her house, I ran through Costco throwing strawberries and giant hunks of cheese into my cart. Terribly unsatisfying. How could I go to Costco and not linger in the book section? What about the 100 pen collections and vats of peanut butter? And she is still in labor so my partner is there now so I can be in clinic to greet families.

I have a confession. On my best days, I can remember names, oh, 25% of the time. When I am tired, this number is in the single digits, like 2. So clients are coming and I a.) won't remember them at all b.) won't remember if they had a boy or girl c.) will call them an incorrect name and embarrass myself. A friend suggested that I say, "I'm terrible with names, remind me who you are." I might be too proud to do this. Kinda like my deaf mother who pretended she knew what people were saying, nodding and smiling, while she had NO IDEA what was being talked about. Maybe I'll nod and smile like a perfect idiot.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Photo by edenbatki.com.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Before it gets dark, I have to figure out how to make a pattern for some pants E sent me home with. She bought them in some far-away place and they are very popular so she wants two more pairs. We visited the fabric district in LA for this reason (land of orange shag jersey material for mini skirts?). I even have a new sewing machine. It is sitting in a box because I don't believe it really belongs to me. Stores now are letting you buy on time, no interest and back in the day, layaway meant you paid every month until it was paid off and THEN you got to wear/eat/use the item. Now, you leave the store with your stuff even tho it's not paid for. Credit only different. Weird. 

My ex got the sewing machine in the divorce so now I have a fancy machine I'm afraid to use. 

There are now sewing machines that clean your house and walk your dog. And they are very expensive. I was so used to an old Singer, I had no idea. Luddite that I am.  I didn't buy a very expensive machine. Who needs a machine that embroiders, knits and coughs politely when you walk by?

No writers group tonight, whaa. I was up all night at a birth, so didn't think I could make it but I could after all. No more sinking into despair now. We'll have none of that.

The crows are making a damn racket in the yard. Must be a cat out there. If I were a cat, I wouldn't mess with crows. 

I cured my anxiety by giving the Real Change guy a ten. He's got a job now, at the Good Will, part-time. He's got a place to live too. Maybe he can get his teeth fixed.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Question: What tastes better than a strawberry picked and eaten immediately from your garden?

Answer: Nothing.
Came home last night late. I was sitting in my living room contemplating my analog TV and the stupid converter box that converts nothing and I don't watch TV anyway, just movies and a horrible racket started up outside, dogs barking, yipping like they are hurt, people yelling, etc. I go to my porch and there is a lady lying, kneeling on my lawn with her dog on a leash, the (new) across the street neighbors with the rattle trap little RV in their driveway and my other neighbors (the Loud family) hollering, jumping up and down, making a right scene. Other neighbors are coming out to the street. The story: woman walking her dog, nice, law-abiding leashed dog. Out of nowhere comes 'Isis' (a questionably named dog if there ever was one), a white Alaskan, attacks 'Petie', knocks over his owner who starts yelling, 'Call off your dog, call off your dog!!" So neighbor lady ( Isis owner) calls Petie's mom some bad words and says she's disabled and so forth, then Mr Loud get in and they're head-to-head, with Loud family pulling on him to back off, my lawn lady now getting up, poop bag and doggie treats in hand, whew, I'll tell you. Drama in the hood, yeah.

The cops arrive, 4 of 'em. They have big flashlights just like on CSI shows. They're sorting out what happened and give me and Petie's mom an incident number. Then they notice the huge-ass RV across the street with the generator running. 2 cops go and knock on the RV door (with the flashlight) and tell the occupants to move to the park or by morning, the RV will be towed, whoa.

An hour later, all is quiet and the huge RV is GONE.

Some people have stopped mowing their lawns. Some people are living in RVs. Some people have dogs with serious anger management problems. Is it the end times?

All on my street these days.

Sunday, June 14, 2009



there is a blue light in my head

in the center where my eye is

I switch it on   and off

I call it firefly     

I want to put it in a jar

I want to lie in a tent with you

we can bring the jar with us

I promise I will behave this time

I won’t try to kill you

as you sleep 

Friday, June 12, 2009

Attempted sleeping on the couch. Phone kept ringing, the cats were draped all around and finally the pager went off. Fine. Sleep is not my friend. 

My student wants me to see a slam poet tonight but I think I'll pass, too tired.  I have to be 'ready' for performance pieces, emotionally prepared. I once brought a friend to a reading where there was also a performance artist from the local art school. She brought all her friends to watch her lie on the floor and randomly rearrange poker chips and little pieces of wood. My friend was so polite. Her friends were...worshipful. I thought it was dumb so we left. Patti, thankfully, never brought it up again. I wonder if she thinks I like that sort of thing. Although when the ice cream truck drives by playing Fur Elise, I flinch. 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I might be having a wee panic attack or at least a lot of anxiety for a number of very good reasons which I can't speak about here...I just feel like there are spiders crawling underneath my skin and my eyes are held open with bamboo toothpicks. It is not a nice feeling. Oh, and I can't sleep and food tastes like pine needles. Without any hot sauce. But prickery.

Going for a walk now. Back to the trees.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gawd, I finally get to go home. Clients came in today without appointments or appointments on the wrong day and I just squeezed 'em in. Heck, they're here, why not. Flies get in and zoom around bashing themselves against the windows. 

This morning I went to Seward Park and walked in the woods. I was late for work. I could hear a robin and a woodpecker. Trees stand so still all day. Without a real forest, there is nowhere to rest. I remember once walking in NYC, just after finding out that I was pregnant with my older daughter. I was floating along and I came to St Mark's Place where there is a little park, all fenced in. The trees were leafing out and there were a few tulips. Spring had arrived and I hadn't known. Where I had grown up, Spring had a violence, a tearing. Winter kept us prisoner for 6 months. Suddenly, there was the smell of mud. Everywhere. Trillium in the woods and crocus. And just as suddenly, all that clamor was over. Damp heat, mosquitoes and raccoons in the garbage. Summer was something you bore, like a bad cold. 

Sturdiness of the maple trees at the property line. Unmoving. Reference points.  Red cedars out here. And I know where the old growth ones are in the city. Not telling.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I had to call the IRS yesterday. The conversation went something like this:

(after 10 minutes of waiting while I listened to Vivaldi's Four Seasons with many bumps and scratches)

Hello, this is Andrea, number 07489601, IRS. How may I direct your call?

Uh, I have a letter here and I need some clarification.

What is type of tax are you inquiring about?

????,uh, my income tax...

(heavy ironic sigh) Of course, this is the IRS. What type of tax are you inquiring about?

I am a business owner and I need to speak to someone about a letter I received about my taxes...

(another sigh, obviously dealing with an idiot) What does the letter say?

uh, this refers to my 1040 tax return and I...

Yes, yes, this is the IRS, what type of tax are you referring to???

My tax return, my...

Business taxes? Personal taxes?

(I'm desperate now so I take a stab at it) uh, personal taxes.

Please hold for that division. (more Vivaldi now, with big skips and plunges)

After another 5 minutes, I hung up. I reread the letter and I think I figured it out. The IRS is coming to my house soon and taking my cats and toaster oven. All taxes in the future will be a personal affront to anyone I contact. I am an idiot and I am deeply sorry.

The neighbors across the street moved the derelict car with the gold rims and flat tire so someone could park a huge-ass RV there, which 'ran' all night, people living inside apparently. On the other corner a huge-ass U-Haul truck with a trailer, also theirs. Do I call the city? Where are RVs supposed to park? I don't think they are supposed to park in residential neighborhoods. I kept waking up all night thinking a semi was outside my window with their engine running. Maybe with the economy, more people will start living like this; a current Joad family. I wonder if they are having hamburger gravy for breakfast...

Monday, June 08, 2009

I had an epiphany recently. There are poems that make people feel good, feel *nice*. These are poems your don't have to work for. They do the work for you. You just read them and they sit on the page all glowy and smug. They are the presentable poems, the poems that play with others and they never bop anyone on the head with a shovel or a dump truck. They are easy. They are legible. They are law-abiding.

Then there are other poems. They are disreputable and noisy. They make you fidget and sweat. They say terrible things and they interrupt your sleep. They aren't easy poems. They aren't armchair poems, they're motorcycle poems with no helmets. They're dangerous. They're smudged and bitter.  They get under your skin and into your blood stream. They infect you. Yes.

My midwife buddy just brought me the pager and a large piece of vegan chocolate cake. She told me not to eat the whole thing so...I did. I feel a little sick now. I was so hungry today. After my soup for lunch (gypsy soup ala Moosewood, with cinnamon) all I had to eat was lettuce. Lettuce. Nope, not a meal in any universe. 

When you plant a garden, everything gets ripe, all at once. So I have 6 heads of romaine and 4 heads of red leaf lettuce and 10 spinach plants. I can't keep up. I did pick all the snow peas and ate them, standing in the garden next to the Chinese poppies. 

The Styrax Japonica are all blooming. They are my favorite tree. I planted 3 of them. They have heart-shaped leaves and little bell flowers that hang down. They smell so sweet too. 

I might go into a sugar-chocolate coma now. Never tell me not to do something. I will go right ahead and do it, I swear I will. And chocolate cake, vegan too, I can't help it. I'm weak.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

I'm stalling. I have to paint the trim in my former office and continue to carry many loads of stuff to my new office, which is currently not organized. It makes me feel slightly sick to look in that room with book piles everywhere waiting to fall over and other piles of papers and random paper clips, picture frames, newspapers etcetc. I could just close the door. Even tho the walls are such a chipper blue now instead of depressing green-ish.  

 At least the city brought us a new recycling bin. It's blue. It looks out of place next to the scuffed up garbage cans. It's all full of itself. It thinks it's special. Just wait, buster. A few rainstorms, some nice dirty wind and the recycling truck guys throwing you around. You won't feel so sassy then. 

My Romaine lettuce has formed heads. When I find snails on my garden, I throw them into the street. I'm probably coming back as a snail.  

Friday, June 05, 2009

Yesterday Malibu hike. Little lizards everywhere and butterflies, some light blue. And a burned out homestead way back in the hills beside a waterfall, many fireplaces are left. Also views of the Pacific on the way back with surfers. And dolphins. E said so casually, "there are dolphins here sometimes" and we looked over and there were many, leaping right out of the water, in pairs, singly, back flips. How did E know to look right then? She must be psychic. 

By the way, mile high Afro hair is back. In pink.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

In Echo Park, they are spreading tar on the roads and blocking off streets so we can't drive to the house. Neighbors are re-arranging the barricades. Gray and foggy here, with thunder and rain yesterday. E drives an ancient Mercedes with iffy windshield wipes. She turns them on and they stop when they feel like it, o, 10 minutes later. It's a glorious car, cracked dash, rumbly tires, creative glove compartment. And she runs it on vegetable oil so we smell like fries. 

We went to the farmer's market yesterday in the parking lot of a church. All the farmers spoke Spanish except for the cherry farmers. They were Japanese. 

Guatemalans, Koreans, Mexicans, El Salvadorans, Ethiopians, Iranians and Israelis. That's LA.   We bought fabric downtown yesterday. Reminded me of Varanasi and the silk merchants in India. Fabric hanging from every doorway, the owner sitting outside with tupperwear lunches, rice and fava beans. 

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Los Angeles-I went clubbing last night with my kid. I haven't been dancing for, oh, five years. It was very late, the music was boom-de-boom, extremely loud and the people were gorgeous. Girls in lame bathing suits and thigh high stockings and high heels. Boys with beautiful eyes and slinky legs. Tranny hookers by the door. Sigh.. I even smoked a cigarette and drank a glass of champaigne. This is not Seattle, that's for sure.

We also saw the latest Terminator movie. At the fanciest Hollywood cinema. $12 tickets. Amazing sound and a curved screen. The movie was stupid, no humor like the others (but a mirage of Arnold, naked except for his, um, private area, that was all smokey). It was mostly blowing up giant metal bugs and buildings and fires everywhere. *snore*

Going for a run now. After my debauchery.

Monday, June 01, 2009

I already finished packing. Very suspicious. I bet I have forgotten something. Like shoes or underwear. I was scolded in Denver with lotion that was FOUR OUNCES. Boy, was I embarrassed. 

In Los Angeles, the Scientology building/church/fortress is a whole city block. I bet they sit in there beaming out gamma rays to the universe. I made that up but I bet I'm right. I mean, L. Ron Hubbard, really.

I just saw a mosquito, one lone mosquito. There are no bugs here. Back East, there are serious bugs. Mosquitos will drive you insane while you are trying to sleep under the covers even tho it is a thousand degrees in your room. I used to come home from summer camp covered with bites. 

I do miss the fireflies.

I'm going to LA tomorrow to see my child. She has many plans for us including a dinner party with her friends in the movie business. Gawd, what will I wear? Will they be fancy with modern hair and those big sunglasses? I'm a little worried. At least my toenails are painted. I go to the salon down the street so I can get spruced up. I also catch up on my movie star info ala People and such. The nice ladies remember my name and they massage my legs and bang on my calves. Very thoughtful of them.

I have one eeny complaint today. The new garbage people took my recycling bin. Away. And didn't give me another. Harrumph. I have been forced to go across the street to my neighbors and dumping my recycling in their bin. Another neighbor just moved out and I was skulking around their house looking for THEIR bin, no luck. Today, I'm taking my recycling to work to dump it there. 

Dear City of Seattle: Please give me another recycling bin and I will stop behaving like I am doing something wrong, sneaking across the street in the night with my recycling. Like a thief. Please.