Sunday, September 30, 2018

September 30, 2018

Susan Nguyen
after Jennifer Weiner
Look, America, I have tasted you
before and you taste like beer.
Pabst. Natty Boh. Schlitz.
In a can and warm.
You taste like lemonade powder in vodka,
fire hydrant water collecting in sewers.
America, the beautiful:
don’t you look impossible tonight?
A two-headed coin. You told me
I’m sexy, I’m beautiful, I’m wanted, unwanted, not a 10
but here we are in your bedroom
and I’m a secret. I’m impossible.
Do you know how to be sorry?
I’m a snack, you said, and guess who’s hungry.
America, where are your hands?
You should know: I remember
You pulled back my elbows
and asked how could anyone
be sure of my face in the dark?
America, you duct taped
my hands to a 40 and said drink
You duct taped my hands to two 40s and took my phone away
You duct taped my two hands and said do something
America, how could you
I want to burn all the frat houses all the America all the ground
I want to America the frat house burning
America, run
America, here is where the burning body turns into ground
America, you could
America, show me

Friday, September 28, 2018

Just back from Big Bear California. 1500 year old juniper tree with a deep cleft burned into her side. Lightening strike, we are told. High up in the mountains, 7000 feet, makes breathing difficult.

Can't watch the aftermath of the hearings. Hoping the vote goes one way, fearing it will go another.

The house is quiet and the leaves are turning on the vine winding up the chimney. Tonight I teach a Dharma and Race class.

May all beings be safe, happy and free from harm.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

this morning at first light
you came to me
slid two fingers into me
so that I rose up toward you
your beautiful face
confident that I wanted whatever you offered

I know you're dead
I found your obituary finally
you were born in 1948 in NYC
I didn't know you were living in San Francisco when you died
I would have visited

O I was 17 and away from home
away from my parents
and you chose me
my hair touching my waist
breasts barely there
I was that girl
and you slouched toward me
I thought you were a man
black hair on your chest
black beard
my dorm mate said you looked like Jesus

Marlboros  weed  acid
1967 and we tried all of them

today we made love before I woke up
back then
you saved me
you used condoms
you kept me away from the heroin
you became addicted to
was in treatment for

you were 68 when you died
maybe you got clean
the last time I saw you
you had a gold tooth like a gangster
your music Thelonius, Coltrane, Otis

my love
I have been grieving you for 50 years
your casual disregard
your tenderness
I was the naive girl who adored you
but I was the girl in Florida
the one you chose so you'd have someone to fuck

you had a girl in the City
the real girl
the girl you could be seen with

the roses came with a card
'don't let time kidnap you'

I couldn't keep you
I never had you
the last time I saw you I was pregnant with another man's child
you lay on the bed
but I wouldn't go to you
you had a woman who braided her hair the way you liked it
you were on methadone

maybe you got clean
stopped smoking
moved West

in my dream
you are so beautiful
my young body so eager so willing
I couldn't begin to see the damage ahead

I hope you are at peace
I hope you aren't haunting me
this was never going to be a love story

Saturday, September 15, 2018

When I have a birth like this one, I never want to retire. I'm in love with her and her husband and their sweet baby boy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

This is Eden, my glamorous daughter on her way to the Emmys! She and a friend worked on Anthony Bourdain's crew so they were invited. I am, of course, her proud momma. Besides, she's gorgeous.

It rained, thank the lawd. i go out on retreat again in a week. To Big Bear, a few hours outside of LA. Guess it's in the mountains and forests. I'll be gone a week.

I think my sleep is caught up. At my sort of age, sleep is a beautiful and illusive idea. Some nights I lie awake. Other nights I sleep for 10 hours. Random.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

It's a new day. I am waiting for the women's spa to open so I can go there and get a Korean scrub and lie around in the hot tubs. With no cell phone.

We had yet another birth yesterday. Was up all night and staggered home at 6 PM to find that my dog guy hadn't come for Felix. He is, um, excitable and he runs pell-mell through the house, scattering rugs and furniture EVERY DAY when I come home. Yesterday, because he'd been inside FOR HOURS, he also managed to knock over an entire gallon of gesso on the floor.


I spend 20 minutes scraping, mopping and wiping up spilled gesso, which got in the cracks of the wood and so forth.

Plus the cat peed on my bed, which went through several layers of bedding and, of course, my comforter. It is a comfort, my comforter, except when it smells like cat pee.

The birth family was beautiful. We had to transfer them because the labor was going on too long and it was safer for them to be in the hospital. They had a lovely baby boy.

Plus, a father from 7 years ago came into the clinic with $600 in cash and wanting us to file a birth certificate for his 7 year old cuz they want to get him a passport. They still owe us money !!!!!!! Jeez.

Mi vida loca.

I have a huge canvas in my studio that needs one more coat of gesso. Today I'm gonna do that, more gesso. Then I will apply paint. Because that's what painters do, they paint. Even if they're tired or grumpy or sad.

And no babies are gonna interrupt. You hear?

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Well, it's 4:10 AM. I'm hanging out at the birth center with my student. The mom is being pretty quiet right now. She's not very dilated so I'm thinking we're gonna be here all day (sigh). I'm supposed to host a meditation tonight at my house. We'll see how that goes.

It's been a week for this semi-retired (?) midwife. My crew is either sick or out of town so I've been holding down the fort for about a week. Home visits, clinic visits, this birth and another one a few days ago. I am remembering why I wanted to work less.

There's another midwife here with her client but she's not going very fast either.

This business of waiting on women. I've been doing it for many years. Because it's important that women be given time, attention and love when they're bringing in their babies. And we're here to help out.

Reading about power and the brain. Having power over others actually makes one less empathetic. Interesting, isn't it? Brain chemistry changes in powerful people but with attention, the powerful can learn to be compassionate again if they have lost that ability.

And furthermore. I hate this bra I'm wearing. I hate all bras, actually. I have complained here before about bras but I still hate them. I go around bra-less and that is the natural way, no confinement, no tightness around the chest. Remember bra burning. I was all about it. Of course, back them I had no need for a bra anyway because I was flat chested. That was lovely. And now....

Alright, I'm going to love my body, all of it. I'm 67 and this is what it looks like to be 67, breasts and all. I will not weigh 125 pounds again. As long as I can still walk a fair distance, swim and ride my bike, I'm good. I'm more than good, I'm great.

So that's my ramble. At this hour, I don't have to make sense. Wish this baby and his/her parents well.  Enjoy your sleep.