Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's a day a melancholy day with silky warm air leaves and rot and pumpkins already falling in on themselves the wild buzzing always in my head it's tinnitus it's ghosts it's Thanksgiving when my brother couldn't wouldn't survive another year day minute breathing so he. stopped. breathing. all by himself I'm in the shed under the beeches in Pennsylvania their luminous bark not enough light for him to stay awhile longer I'm sitting with him the rakes and empty paint cans his witness to the rope that finally didn't let him down let him down too late every year he takes a place at the table where the empty plate sits he's the end of each sentence he's the spaces between the words he's the music we no longer can hear.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Holly and I went into the grocery store dressed as jellyfish and no one looked at us. Why? What's the matter with people? They looked away politely, like we had scales or burns or three arms.
Come on, it's just taffeta and shiny tentacles.


Maybe it's the tentacles. They are the non-stinging kind even if they got caught in the car door. We jumped around for the floaty jelly-like effect. We thought we were hilarious. We were.

So all you grumpy people at Puget Consumer Coop, get a kick out of two women dressed as jelly fish, sheesh. How often will you see such a sight? Maybe never again. Too bad for you.
If I sweep all the leaves off the porch, does that count as raking?

Sometimes being a midwife is difficult. You have to give people bad news. And they don't want to hear it. And they want to shoot the messenger. Or you didn't say what you needed to say in a skillful way. Sigh. it's not part of the job I like. I wish I didn't have to do it. Sometimes I just want to take a bath all day and get water all over the book I'm reading.

And drink tea.

And have the servants take care of the laundry and the cats.

Tonight I'm going to a party with my friends. I'm going as a jellyfish, blue or pink, I can't decide.

Patti will have eyeballs in the soup and spiders in the pie. I know her. She's like that. There'll probably be brain sauce and skeletal biscuits. With fingernails.

James said he's not coming as a grumpy old man.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Down the street there is a local gym owned by local people. The owner guy has muscles as big as Buicks and I'm not even kidding. There are trophies and statues of big Buick-muscle guys in the window. Where, you ask, is this heading? Just because I'm (ahem) of a certain age with gray hair and collegen-less thighs, or was that cholesterol-less thighs, anyway, I know how to lift weights so back off, mister. Plagued by injuries, our plucky heroine hauled herself up out of the ditch and continued the race, running sideways on her broken ankle.... But wait, I did have a sprained ankle last year and a torn hamstring.


I ventured into the gym with a free ticket for a workout. I even sweated. And I didn't hurt myself on the treadmill like that time (April, you know). It's a very funny story about, um, programming the treadmill incorrectly and flying off the back and landing on my ass ripping a big hole in my shorts AND getting back up on that horse and finishing the workout, goddammit. At a college gym. With college students ignoring me. Mortified, not me. Except when I saw the large hole in my shorts back in the locker room.

So, now I 'go to the gym', as in, "gotta run, I need a workout before I go home." Fortunately, most of the people who go there are normal looking. And it's not all guys. Not that I have anything against guys. They can tend to sometimes take up a lot of room with their bench pressing 5000 pounds and groaning and popping out in rivers of sweat.

I don't care that I'm only lifting 20 pounds. My muscles are puny. But, I tell yah, if a 10# baby is stuck, you should see how strong I can be. Adrenaline is my friend.

And we made 75 jars of grape jelly and it is so purty on the counter. If you lived near me, you'd get some for Christmas. And it's effing good.

I had today off and tomorrow too. I can hardly believe my luck.

Geoffrey is haunting me this year. Don't know why. I can't avenge you, baby brother. It just never goes away, the sadness.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My dear friends:

We had six babies last week. They all arrived safely. We went home and slept for a hundred and fourteen hours. Yesterday, my honey and I made grape jelly again and the kitchen is a huge mess of spilled jelly, sugar and mysterious splotches on the stove. And some of it didn't jell, whhhhaaaaa. Which means, decanting, recooking, more pectin and sugar and boiling hot jars and lids and burns on hands and fingers.


I washed the last batch of clothes with a leetle bottle of peppermint oil so now my clothes smell of peppermint. Very strong peppermint. When you have a honey who NEVER empties her pockets, you wash all sorts of things. She now has a very clean wallet too.

Fall in the Northwest is my favorite. Sock-making season. Jelly making season. Lying around an reading the paper til 3 PM. All the cats on the bed at night.

I don't have anything interesting to say. And I don't even care.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I'm off call, trala, trala.

Grape jelly making in my future. And artist behavior. I have a giantfuckingnormous canvas in my bedroom with no paint on it. What was I thinking? The garage is big enough to work in there but it'll be cold. No matter. I've never made such a big painting. It's worrisome.

Monday, October 17, 2011

This is where Holly and I hiked yesterday, Tiger Mountain in the clouds.
Dear babies,

I attended a birth on Thursday, Friday and today. Thank you all for being healthy and beautiful. Now I'd like a bit of a rest, k?

Love, Beth the midwife

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The third miracle

Get the monster out of your body

---Patti Hansen

something's not right
sky hidden behind an ominous slick
my face has slid onto the dash
the cats float
their shiny pads illuminate the night
a poisoned retinue

remind me how we arrived on this island
did we fly or swim
my body transparent
are we orphans now
who will take in the mail

thickets perfume the verge
drift toward a lighted caravan
in silk slippers and a course necktie
watch slap slip behind a painted curtain
it's not how I was conceived

management has closed the museum
wings untether from the lacquered passenger pigeons
they are flying toward the speckled windows
we fall back into their angelic arms
rise into the dusty light

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A baby girl this morning. Up all night. I slept on the couch in my bathrobe this afternoon. I don't know what it is. If I sleep on the couch, I'm not really sleeping, just resting. WTF. If I get into bed, that must mean I'm really tired and it must be night and I should brush my teeth and get into my jammies. Even if it's bright day with the sun in the window.

I put in a movie and all I remember are the credits. Clean, Shaven, a truly creepy and beautifully shot film about mental illness. I'm gonna try it again after I've 'rested'.

I now have two poems in my new computer. Two. And they are saved in Google docs. Dreary and boring to admit this but I back up, like seeing a tsunami, you gotta back up, way up. To the top of something really tall, like a mountain.

I'm too tired to continue here. Off to beddy. It's dark so I can legitimately lie down. In my bed. My sweet soft delicious bed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

National coming out day? Where have I been? EVERYONE should come out. Mass confusion ensues.

What, another chance to sell greeting cards and roses???

Forgive me for my well-deserved sarcasm. Blame it on the land of my birth, the dreaded East Coast.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Today I'll write a new poem on my new computer. Then I'll effing BACK IT UP. I surveyed the perimeter of my house looking for other ways for thieves to enter. All windows locked, doors double locked. Some day I'm living in the country and I'll never lock my doors or my car. And I'll never mow the lawn neither. A tree will grow in the living room and vines will hang in the kitchen. We'll eat lunch with the raccoons and the deer will lend us a hand in the garden.

That's it for now.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

it's all impermanence-or whatever

Dear Readers-I've returned from my California adventures. My LA daughter lives in a hobbit house behind a real house. I will need pictures of the passionflowers that drip down over her doorway when I figure out my new computer. She has a garden and a leetle building where her bathroom and washer/dryer are. And she has plants and cacti and a fire pit and a clothes line. I loved being there. And she'a a lover of fine food so we ate all kinds of different food, Persian and Korean and Central American. She's becoming a chef, food inventor with her lust for new and interesting and delicious.

Then to the Bay area with daughter the other and we saw the Picasso exhibit at the new DeYoung, truly a gorgeous museum. We also walked around Haight street and tried on boots. Lovely buttery boots that made us feel sexy and invincible.

The retreat was again in the glorious Spirit Rock with heated floors and California groovy food and wild turkeys and deer and frogs and turkey vultures. Silence.

In the airport, we found out that while we were gone, our house had been broken into. And my laptop was stolen. Crap. When they tell you to back up your work, they mean, back up your work, dummy.

So I' ve been in serious grief since Sunday. I don't even know what was lost yet. I guess the only fortunate thing is that I've downloaded most all of my poetry. But. Crap.

Javier Sicilia, a Mexican poet, has been traveling Mexico with the Caravan for Peace With Justice and Dignity after his son was killed by a drug cartel. He stopped writing poetry in protest. And he's moving people all over the country. Bless him.

I'll survive the loss of my computer. What I was most concerned about when I heard something had happened at home was that a kat had been injured... And my computer was seven years old. Maybe some child is using it for school and it's not in a pawn shop somewhere.

By the way, while on retreat, I saw a stag there for the first time. I always see the does and fawns, by now they are yearlings. But I saw a buck, twice. The first time he was coming out of the mist-like a magic dreamy deer. The second time, he was standing on the hillside right beside the door of the zendo. I've decided to grow a pair of antlers and get sticks and twigs in my fur. And be wild.