i ask about the history of a torn miniscus

1. dreams:
noah sends warning
of badgeless bike cops
ready to take
bikers/organizers down
i circumnavigate
best i can

at a gathering
where everyone is dressed
as a tarot card of their choosing
most of us end up wearing black and white
and a comic artist
is on my lap
kissing my chocolate mint mouth

2. eight a.m.
biking past
the barricaded block
and unmarked squad cars
where the big boys play
cops and robbers
at police training
a shuddert
a shiver
and a mutter
about what a fucking waste of money
in a town
for cops
who kill
unarmed citizens
of color
until even the reverend jesse jackson himself
pays a visit
to speak against
their actions

3. right arm
and light brown
with bruises
yellow sweat band
serving as
wrist brace

4. nine am
while i am
flour dusted and
cutting biscuits
are loading up a truck
with your mattress
your loomings
your cat
on duboce avenue

5. starlings
and shining
in the top of the green leafed tree with white blooms
on my way
to the walk-in

6. another shudder/shiver combination
on page A6
of the new york times
telling me
about the bodies
of 21 babies
in plastic bags
in a river
in jining

7. in front porch sun
on a long distance call to wisconsin
i ask
about the history
of a torn miniscus

8. a voicemale from ashland oregon
telling me
about radio channels
there’s no such thing
as cave men or fish

9. a text
from corvallis
how can we cause such destruction
with a sky like that?

10. carrot in the drivers seat
while corinne drinks her limons
and the moon
shows itself
despite its ginormity
through parted clouds
to the top
of a cool night sky

homemade chai

1. dreams:
chopping the ends off
discount tomatoes
before lining them up
in a pan
for oven roasting
before serving with
breaded tofu cutlets
and pasta
and this was all before
the great fight with ami
that neither of us can remember the why
but we still carry the frustration/anger

2. bone folder
serving as gua sha tool
while krissy (the six of bottles embodied)
walks caterpillars down injured arm
talks about tumeric
and the giving half of my body

3. homemade chai
with dandelion
in red thermos
poured into mugs

4. post-nap sun
cutting through curtain lace
onto fuschia wall

5. the waves
of exhaustion
and stomach unsettling
with the waves
of clarity
forward movement

6. although they asked for two paragraphs
i couldn’t help
but write three
about pursuing education
unhindered by the constraints of work
for the first time
in my life

7. 7something pm
forearm bruises surfacing

the cautious approach to five flakes of mesa sunrise cereal

i already wrote
all of this down
from the
all day
on velvet green pillows
so fevered
i couldn’t even
remove the belt
digging into my hips
between sleeps
to the
old growth visit
with gingerly steps
discovering green
that can only be discovered
in mossed forests

but first
there was the morning meeting
with brian
methodically draining
and spraying down
the medicine wheel tubs
first with vinegar
then with the hose

at 12noon
i pulled a piece
of false usnea
from the path
and thought
of  you

then there was the
quiet writing/mfa/naropa conversation
with wendy the mermaid
as the light thinned out
and the rain tore down
she told me
how walt disney
cal arts
and how edward scissorhands
and the cookie cutter suburban houses
were filmed
in the vicinity of cal arts

and then
the part
bubbly water
and straining the coconut
out of the coconut juice
and the cautious approach to 5  flakes of
mesa sunrise cereal

and then the part
about how i
paula’s bed
underneath the hanging feathers
for the night
and how the clarinet
from the windowsill
from the forestrainwind

eight million brooms

1. at breakfast
over orange peels
and raspberry oatmeal
revealing the san diego vs. chicago

2. sunlight trapped
in pink nalgene

filled with ginger water

3. 12noon
you’re mine
follow the foot bridge
constructed over a river
that sounds
bigger than it looks

4. things found on land
including but not limited to:
melting snowpiles
eight million brooms
green picnic tables
riverside labyrinth
countless rolls of 7th generation toilet paper

5. latex
blue gloves
in back left pocket
fingers poking out
i’m not flagging
i’m accessorizing
for a morning
of porcelain cleaning

6. eating salad
with a fork
in my left hand

7. brittany
with the snake bite lip piercings
and blueblack hair
in leopard print stretch pants
tells me
i have
cocorosie hair
just after
she explains
the two-towel
and life tree
cleaning system

8. sauna
plus porcelain tub
cold dunk
under almost full moon
might be
the most perfect thing
that has ever

9. and then
there is the escapade
of an all night
of cheesy lasagna
and double chocolate
ginger cookies
from the womb room
down the steps
to the mermaid bathroom

the first days of liberation from the beige

1. 70-something year old woman
in bright orange
rain coat and hat
sits next to me
on the #75
and talks about
the senior driving class
she’s coming from
if she attends
she receives 5-10% off
of her auto insurance

2. squirrels
that know how to make
blackberry wine/

3. at the intersection
of mcdonald’s
megan says
we could be at any intersection
in the u.s.
right now

4. sweetie
my secretary
buying mink coats
and plane tickets to chicago
on my credit card
during the first days of liberation
from the beige

5. breathing into it
changes everything
this pain
is not me
moves through me

6. ginger tea
in paper to-go cup
please don’t judge me

7. dinner
at a stucco house across the garden
where i would choose
playing trick or treat
with orion
and lyra
over adult talk
any day
(tie me up
they say
chain me to the wall
they say)
while i wear the alligator foam mask

8. first order of business:
first soak of the weekend
in the meadow pool
where i don’t notice
until about 15 minutes in
how someone sprinkled powdered sugar
in the oldgrowth
of the mountaintop
just across the river

i am more than i ever dreamt was possible

the oven
wouldn’t stop burning
yesterday’s coconut curry soup spill
which paul insisted
smelled like
burnt cheese.

and today
a chill chased
the springwave of heat.
rode in with the wind
and crashed.
of rain
thrown down
from gray sky.

after you said
i wish you were here
to share the easter candy
my mom sent

it reminded me of a text message marathon.
you in a hotel room in hawaii
me in a back yard bright-lit studio shed
when you offered me
your last fig newton.
i decided
must have been the place
of our days together
so many lifetimes ago.

i learned
about the magic
of positive opposites.
for example, when i say:
i feel like i’m not enough/what i do is not enough/will never be enough,

when asked what the positive opposite of that is
i come up with:
i am more than i ever dreamt was possible.

and i am rooted in radiance.
and the truth that everything is going to work out
and now
instead of writing two paragraphs
stating my financial need
i will begin
with a letter to the universe.

what was panic
and overwhelm
is now
a forest-bound hopeful elf
her heart must decide
which involves
two cities
in one week.
and the thing
about the heart deciding
is that
has nothing
to do with it.

when you ask
if i want anything
from minneapolis
i request
a pair of running shoes
that you have run through
but are not too old to pass on.
i like the story
of this inheritance.
and think of that phrase about
walking a mile
in someone else’s shoes.

and did you know
did you know
one of the projects
i’ve been thinking about
is some kind of installation
in order for people to fully interact with it
they must lie on the floor
on their backs?
because there is nothing like
watching clouds pass
through the latticework of bare branches
or nothing like absorbing the heat off of asphalt
or nothing like an empty road
out near the clackamas river
at night
where the best way
to star watch
without breaking your neck
is to lay yourself down
on the dashed center line?

and today
perhaps the most glorious
of all
is the day
has been liberated
from the circular file
from the milk and gravy pot luck
from the reluctant ‘saying nice things’ speech
from the filing cabinet backdrop
from the cereal box

another spring break hustle

1. proof
in the form of a ride south
that the universe is supporting me

2. when i am feeling
like i need to get down to business
i slip on the maroon frames
plastic glasses
resting warm
on my nose

3. written on the cardboard box
from marsee bakery
for vita employees:
please eat or take home

this was not a gesture of our boss
but rather
a gesture of the bakery
sharing samples
so that we might sell their goods
and our boss
inviting us in
on the sampling
after he got first pick

4. it was a struggle
but i made it to the porch
before the sun
went down
and then
i smashed a flying ant
on my forearm
and cringed
and said sorry

out loud
and from there on out
removed the rest of them
by blowing them away

5. the innumerable sounds
of metal on metal at work:
1. stirring spoon clacking against stirring spoon
while hanging them on the hook above the dishwasher
2. stirring spoon in aluminum pots
set on stainless steel table
i chop anything
stationed at my cutting board on the same table
3. 3-pans
half pans
slid onto
wire rack
4. sheet pans
dripping from dishwasher
slid into
speed rack
5. pots
as tall as my knees
with smaller pots
nesting inside
6. it never ends
and each metal on metal sound
for hours
and i haven’t even gotten to
the oven fans
or the hood
all day
with the smash
of glass
against glass
to top it all off
out at the recycling bins
it is not just a sound
but a physical pain
to my ears

6. another day
another spring break hustle
another numb limb
another sore wrist

7. 10 hours south
my ceralbox face
on the second-to-last day
at the circular file

8. there is no poetry
in overworked bones
except for
the two
5 dollar bills with my name on them
left from yesterdays
overtime tips

riding from field to field in the backs of trucks assembled the same year i was born

i worked nine and a half hours
without a break
except for the 8 minutes
in the bathroom
checking email
on my pink phone
held up against the wall
behind me
in order to get a clear signal.
and my wrists ache.
and my neck is some kind of injured.
and i think 34 is too young
for a word like bunion
but take a look at my right foot.

nine and a half hours
is nothing
compared to
that part of the summer
on the farm
when everything was on
especially tomatoes
and we worked
from 6 til 6
with a luxurious hour
for lunch
riding from field to field
in the open backs of trucks
built the same year i was born
cecilia, you’re breaking my heart
you’re shaking my confidence daily…
loud and careless into the wind

and twelve hours
on an organic farm
in the heat of summer
is nothing
compared to
all day
at the corner
in the summer sun heat
or bone cold rain
with a bunch of other guys
just as desperate
for a car to pull up
not knowing
how much they will offer
what kind of shit work
they’ll be asking you to do
and never trusting
that these people
may or may not
pay you
want to hurt you
turn you in
kill you
for being

and all day
at the corner
is nothing
compared to
knowing that if you don’t
no one else will
and all
you ever want
is just
once slice
of a second
of silence
but when the kids are hungry
can’t sleep
or just want attention,
they’re not thinking
about your work weeks
fuller than full time
they’re not thinking
about the elusive nature
of money
they’re still
just learning
about what it means
to grow up
in a culture
of scarcity.

and that is nothing
compared to haiti

at this point
it’s senseless
to discern

and that doesn’t even cover
the morning dream
of kate and i
running into each other
in an auditorium
with folding velvet seats
before the performance
her: vibrant in a fancy long black sweater
both of us saying
i don’t even know what to do right now
because it has been so long
and we are taken so aback
by a kind of tender love shock

and then there’s lydia
loaning me the brown and off white
mushroom-print towel
in the changing room
barely big enough
to wrap my winter pale limbs in

noticing the moon
after offering this pink skin
up to cold water falling
after 30 sauna minutes

but first, there was falafel
the whole house
plus sage
five of us
at the hand signal pirate code
to be utilized in the checkout aisle
when looking for a deal.
or you can just try lydia’s approach:
i didn’t think it was going to cost that much.

the tale of a fierce defiance
in the age of the single digits
hopping fences
log rolling
alternately fountaining or drooling cough syrup
to avoid
western medicine
at gradeschool age

and let’s not even talk
about the overwhelm
(where my entire life
in a cloud of blur and glitter
on a six-month calender
while the elevated train
of chicago
and the eucalyptus groves
of san diego
throw down)

during the days of the overwhelm

1. dreams:
and the girl crew
(ami, amber, joolie, brooke)
moving into an old house
with tall ceilings
and a bike collective on the top floor
(i get the light pink room).
in the back yard
i discover a bunk house / studio / workshop
that sleeps twelve.
it looks like a cold old house
but i know
we will burn fires
and fill it with love

2. 50 pounds
of margarine
in my arms
bagged and boxed

3. unweildy two-handled knife
(like a two-person saw
for cutting down trees)
slicing into
the pale yellow
of margarine
for days

4. first the needles go in
then metal
clamped to the needles
hooked up to electricity
into shoulder
and neck
telling me to
let go
let go
let go

5. coconut water
macaroon cookie
salted cashews
milk chocolate

6. your life story
in five minutes
including three major highlights

7. the hysterics
that come
when i talk about laboring
without healthcare
washing in
how people die
on the job

8. keeping it short
during the days
of the overwhelm

9. reports of a shoulder girdle
commanding a room
cutting through stagnancy
against hot pink

10. monologue assignment
#8thousand and 12
tell me
what the word

the many forms of a crescendo

1. waking
dance sore
and tired sad
chicago and san diego
warming up
in the boxing ring

2. two devotees
gather on a bench
at the softball/kickball field
and begin
with bodies of water

3. there must be a word for it
i say
when we talk about
and how it holds history
and the act
of returning
twelve years later

4. a double tauriian
the many forms
of a crescendo
including weather patterns
and contact

5. plane
carving  a path
across cloudbreak
blue and sun
spilling out

6. yelling
we love you
at the sun
through curtains
of the lightest spring rain

7. when i guess
3:12 pm
i am only an hour off

8. things measured in increments of 40 years:
your mom smoking unfiltered pall malls
my dad working m-f 8-4

8. lifted from ground
there is a fence
looming close behind
the art
of tension

9. a study
of the balance
between ruthlessness
and intimacy

10. second time
in a week
someone has leaned out
their car window
while driving by
to vomit verbal patriarchy:
and i am sorry
that they are suckers enough
to accept/perpetuate
this inheritance
of hate

11. calling on the gold and star sapphire powers
of the sludge-be-gone potion
there is work
to be done

12. sock puppets
speaking in pig latin
on a cardboard stage
this is one way
to engage
in the hard
and important