the rodeo inside

1. 7:30 am
the double superhero team descends
tyler and felice
arranging every box i never want to see again
and it’s like one of those clown cars
i can’t believe
one toyota truck
can take it all
except for some stupid plastic hangers
a pile of clothes
and my clyde the glitterpony bike
we pack shit tight

they say

2. the terror
of overwhelm
and how it leads me
to wanting to be like ghandi
who only owned these items
at his time of death

3. in the boat grove
all the momentum
of frenzy
crashing against
timeslowed stillness
everything tiny and everything gigantic
inside my ribcage

4. birds in four moments:
a scrubjay perched on back porch chair
three small sleeping beauty birds
chasedancing each other across breaks
in gray sky
i can read the ribbon they’re carrying
it says bon voyage
scrub jay on the peak of the neighbors hows
feathers of its crown raised
a finch
on lilac branch
while i tend
the soulship

5. perched
on corinne’s lap
in the red armchair
for the great farewell key exchange
my elbow landing in her plate of greens
and black beans
followed by the crime of picking two grains of rice
off the upholstry
and placing them on her plate
it is
one of the only times
she has ever gotten mad at me
and i understand
how she can be so charmed
by things like my morning crankiness

6. rolling through the place
south of portland and north of california
listening to false from true by guy davis
you offer a translation
of the song:
you gotta love hard to fight hard

7. got a lot of ooomph in this fruit rollup
you say
while i laughcry
after nancy griffith
sings that part
about the morning light falling across the pillow

and maybe it makes me sad
because no one sings about light on a pillow
unless no one’s face is resting there
and i’m ok
with a half empty bed
but it’s imagining your bed
brown sheets
morning light falling in
with no one in it to move quietly around at 5am
while you take your steel toes and carharts
out of the room
to put them on
without disturbing someone elses
morningwarm sleepdreams
that really gets me

8. the irony
of buying a bundle of wood
in wolf creek
when there is forest/trees all around us

9. sailing on the sea of blue bedspred
at the sweet breeze inn
between arrival and groundhog day walk
a glow-in-the-dark star on the ceiling discovery
the closest to familiar
a motel
has ever felt

10. replicating
the walk
from ten minutes ago
we discover the source
of water
and set
the fallen leaves
on it’s current
chasing along on the sidewalk
cheering their  on
until they slap through the metal grate

10. i asked
what i looked like
and she said
it was a wood door
banded with metal
upon opening
you discover
a rodeo inside

gone fishin

dearest friends, family, colleagues, lovers, comrades and perfect strangers,

i’ll be away for a week or two while i head approximately 9o0 miles south
with a small metal boat welded to the top of a toyota truck with most of my stuff in it
while an amtrak travels parallel
with the rest of my stuff in it

i will be taking notes
analogue style
and i hope to post them as soon as i land
but i may be too busy to do so
for a while.

in the meantime
feel free to welcome me to my new home
by writing to me here:

3624 texas street
san diego, ca 92104

8million pounds of love to you!


there is talk of rivers

1. on the fullest
most overwhelming days
of my transition
out of this city
these details
nail me
to the present
like nothing else

2. a twister tore through my room
tossed cardboard boxes into piles
and pulled dust bunnies from corners
and i’m
cleaning up the disaster aftermath

3. corinne zips in
like a superhero
matching neck key to matching neck key
shoving clothes into a box
(rolled up, per my request)
at quantam speeds
arms a blur

4. at the last supper
with improvised protein
plus pizza
massaged kale and
garden cucumbers
we bring out candles
halfway through the go around
about our relationships to change
and what changes
we are approaching
or any change in your life that has been remarkable
a bonus round
of free auruawashes
(please put your aura in neutral)

5. i can’t imagine
how i would have done this
without you/your help

i tell you
while perched on the garage orange filing cabinet
fingers probably grabbing at your collar

6. i consider the coolmist
and light rain
the world outside a little bit wetter
the world outside a little more lush
a blessing
a wellwish for the journey
an overall good sign

7. when shannon
talks about our transition
to out-of-town friends
i feel the san andreas fault
cracking open my rib cage
been a while since i felt heartbreak like that

8. it surprises me
the normalcy
of this night

9. there is talk of
how each molecule
of water
never to return
exactly the same again
yet how the river itself
which is made up of this evershifting water
stays right there

minus the construct of time

1. on radiolab
someone mentions neurologist oliver sax
the man who mistook his wife for a hat
and then
they play
an audio flipbook
of a daughter at three
at five
at thirteen

2. you
in light blue
eyes to match
curled under the covers
before i chase you down the stairs
in my underwear
threatening you with a goldfoilwrapped
caramel candy

3. a white metal boat
sailing in a sea of caulk
from a distance
looks like a fast food soda cup
forgotten on the top of the truck

4. dear boatmaker
i just want to thank you
for showing up
and showing up
and showing up

thank you for bringing three bars
when i ask for chocolate
thank you for building a soul ship
that i still don’t have words for
thank you for food deliveries
truck cap maintenance
and letting me stand on your steeltoes
thank you
for being more solid than solid
for being married to the sky
for carrying a purse at work

5. minus the construct of time
this is a slice of heaven
the sifting
all while listening to the music of my choice
i am learning something
about the kinds of work
that require
solitary methods
and i am learning something
about the kind of person
that enjoys
that requires
solitary methods

6. corinne and i’s voices
bouncedback and forth via sattelite
between four time zones

7. lace curtains
catching light and letting it through
while billowing
on backyard line

the ritual

1. the ritual
involved a view of forest park meets washington park
from the top of mount tabor
where there were grass-strewn rose petals
though there were no rosebushes in sight
we used black ink roller ball pens
we wrote on pages from a small book
with the words
summer of drawing
on the cover

but first
we catalogued
our highlights
since 2004
which included
the fruit striped gum halloween birthday in seattle
dancing to manu chao by day and bjork by night
and an art installation
involving envelopes yellowed by black tea and stuffed with affirmations

we passed the taro bubble tea
back and forth
until tapioca pearl by tapioca pearl
nothing remained
except for a small pile of ice

the whole thing
was minute and gargantuan

both of us
operating on the assumption
that we will see each other again
before i leave

my things packed into the back
of a pluot on wheels
headed 940 miles south

2. the visit
involved carrying your purse
which is another word for toolbelt
and an improvised kiss
not quite a sailor dip
but i was not quite in my tight skirt
not bad for two nervous kids

you walked us around the perimeter of the building
shiz and i asking questions
arms around shoulders and waists

we looked up
into sunbright blue sky
to discern the football shape of the roof
to discern where you harnessed yourself to safety
while grinding
at the edge
where structure meets open air
hundreds of feet up
or maybe even thousands
i have never been so good
at estimating distances

when offered green beans
you ate two
spilling screws out of your toolbelt
and radiating
your overall
wonder-inducing way of being
it is contagious

we stepped off the sidewalk
to avoid crossing
the big boss
whose bow-legs
bow out more when he is angry
which wasn’t happening too much today
so perhaps, you deducted, he was having a semi-decent day

and then
if it wasn’t heartbreaking enough
roger comes at us
from the loading dock
in orange
with the most unexpected soft skin
for a powerup fistbump
and we talk about all the big things and small things we can
in five and half minutes
him in the shade
a cooler big enough to fit a whole day inside
gripped in his hand

3. and then
there’s my room
which is getting closer
but still hard to envision it
completely empty
which leaves me a little panicky
because not only is there that
but there’s also last laundry to do
and bill checks to write
and boxes to drop off
at the amtrak station
including a bike
whose pedals
must be removed
and whose handlebars
must be turned sideways

4. the night
is a flock of swifts
swirling sky
like a funnel cloud

5. saltsmell on my skin
not ocean
but summersweat

6. foiled
by labor day again
this is not the first year
and probably won’t be the last
we just want to know we’ll have a place to put our tent
and build our warmth
like a fire

7. i can’t believe
i haven’t mentioned the crickets yet
how so many things can be home
and these days
it is that sound
rising from tall grass

the persistence of this body of work

1. turning two jars
of quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies
into 35 dollars
with the help of jimmy’s dollar-somethin

2. one box of journals
stacked on top of one box
of letters

3. kneeling in front of the futon frame
gripping yellow black drill
my  body speaks hrough my hands:
it has been too long
since you’ve built something

since you’ve wrapped some power tools
in the grip
of your capable fingers

4. sifting through
poems stored in file folders
and notebook after notebook
filled with black ink cursivprint
from the past ten years
for one second
(like the sun
spilling molten orange
through the crack of sky between cloud cover and horizon)
i understand
the breadth
the consistency
the momentum
the persistence
the body
of this work

5. a.m. says
if you are ever going to burn those journals
give them to me first
i’ll hold onto them for a while

6. directions
to tomorrows lunch
through midnight delirium
on a dirty 1 x 4

7. taco thursday family dinner
a.m. begins the go-around
by asking
how we spent our time today
burton spit on me
i got certified on all three new machines
we went to a do-it-yourself carwash
i talked to my brother on the phone
jimmy escorted me on my downtown errands

8. one sleepytoed sloth
coaxing the other
out the door
and across the street
under the light of moon and that one bright star
into the drivers seat

clackamas river milemarker 37

1. there were some dreams
none of which i remember
but then there were yesterday’s:
slow as molasses towards my bike
and wondering
if anyone was getting annoyed
at this pace
and then
leaning back
into wind
that held
my full bodyweight
the wind and i
we danced this way
for a while

2. i think you should tattoo your new poem on the moon
nasa would have nothing on you then

3. i can’t believe
i have forgotten
about the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet
for two whole years
pencil case pouches
graph paper for letter writing
watercolors from kate
a 64pack of crayola crayons

4. james
has a serious aversion
to eating anything with wrap
in its name
he also has two bruises
one on his knee from chopping wood
one on his upper arm from something else

5. a collection of if your soul was a ship/if your body was a ship:
soul: twigs assembled to hold a lit candle
body: canoe
soul: submarine
body: bumper boat
soul: ornate three-sailed pirate ship
with a mermaid as a masthead
body: sailboat
soul: sailboat big enough for others to join
but small enough to be sailed alone
with a good kitchen
body: catamaran

6. jimmy brings me a caddisfly larvae tube offering
while the whitewater rafters
clamber over our sandybeach spot
coolwater dripping off inflated vinyl

7. in order to be able to gather riverwater
i must go all the way under
offering thanks
no matter how topofmountain snowmelt cold it is
(which is exactly what it is)

8. three felt fortune cookies
down the rapids

9. milemarker 37
big eddy picnic ground turnoff
my neck
has never known
any cold so icy
a toss the key
madeinmilwaukee masterlock
a shred of fabric tied through keyhole
through the sun
a trail of droplets
flying with it
before it falls
back through water again
metal sinking to rockbottom
so i may always know
where i can find it

10. driving into sun
before the forest fire
shannon and lauren pull down visors
in one

11. from the river
to yocream at cascade station
(high school flashbacks
flanked by ikea
ross dress for less
alaska airlines planes lowering themselves overhead)
our only way
to deal with this shock of culture
is to perfect our cleaveball skills
tossing dimes
and pennies
each others

the human desire to leave a legacy

1. for my final treatment
we re-synchronize
my body
with the construct
of time
and another eruption of grief
hits me
as i push my bodyweight
out the plateglass door

2. i hang laundry
tank tops
while annah and caden
invite me to the breakfast-for-lunch table
plates filled with
sweet potatoes
garden greens

3. it is the kind of brightsun hotdry day
that dries
laundry on the line
in 10 minutes
it is the kind of brightsun hotdry day
that my body loves
smell of saltsweat on my skin

4. over back porch iced superberry
dyanne and i pick apart peapods
discussing magic and soulboats

5. the ultimate matter/anti-matter ritual
under full moon (moon of fruition)
on the going street pedestrian bridge
we build a glitter portal
joining the forces of north and south

a key is thrown through the fence
its metal chings along the asphalt
under westbound tires

one key
is strung
on silver chain
next to a tiny gingko lock
metal warm with neckheat

i tell you
how this is about being here/not being here
about living here/never living here
how this is about recognition and gratitude
how this is about
everyone i’ve ever connected with in this city
every secret location i’ve fallen in love with
every concord grape i’ve ever picked and eaten
from alleys and backyards
how this is about
all that i’ve learned here and all i’ve been taught
every sunset and moonrise and sunrise and moonset
i’ve ever glimpsed
every trainwhistle ever heard
every moment of magic and every moment of struggle
every bike ride
every reading
every heartbreak

in this city

capturing the uncapturable
(the width and breadth
and the sheer number of these things
makes it impossible)

how this is about the human desire
to leave a legacy
but part of our legacy
is to return
our bones
to the earth

and you tell me
about motion
bridge spanning south to north north to south
which means the moon
and the sun
carve circles around it
all year long
the bridge an arch
of curved metal
the metal of fence  woven
the interlocking
whose fate
is ultimately
to rust through
to nothing

6. a spontaneous meowwoof chorus
bumping down ainsworth
where crosswalks
posing as speedbumps
fake you out

in a city under construction

1. a dream
about the frustration
of trying
and trying
but never being seen
in a city
under construction

2. the zipping of a scooter engine
revved and then cut
we stand in the doorway for a while
after the delivery of
baking powder
eggs from ‘happy chickens’
coconut juice
and pastry flower
exhaustion meets exhaustion
as we lean forward into the day

3. blackberry waffles
rising in the iron
and the ache to share them
swelling in my chest
are never meant
to be eaten

4. in the condition
of panic
the best i can do is play kid cudi low
while going through the contacts in my phone
erasing numbers
and backing them up
in pencil
in alphabetical order
and then
take a bath
with scented salts
and stay in the liquid heat
for nearly an hour

5. the novelty of the smell of rain
rising from blacktop in the pacific northwest

6. photo by photo
an essay rolls in
from the enchanted forest

7. tired of your gender?
come to our freebox to try on a new one

8. a mantra
wherever i am
whatever i am doing
whoever i am near
i am in my full power