Monthly Archives: July 2011

offering an entire body to the sea

1. installment #2 or 3 in this week’s experiment of
morning yoga to
pop/top 40 hits
yesterday it was lupe fiasco
today
justin beiber

2. sweat shining off the carved chest of the man
running up and down and up (and down)
the georgia street bridge
arcing its concrete curve
over the traffic of university below

3. lorri
lifts my bag of peaches off the scale
says
it’s ok
you’re taken care of
encourages me to pick out a few more

4. we should start keeping track
shiz says
afer the man outside the avocado stand says
i like your star tattoos
hands me a card for a mission hills tattoo studio
(which is number two for the day
followed later by #3
when elle
after offering a slice of peach
asks what my arm says)

5. while we discuss july being the busiest month
taylor hands me a zinnia bouquet
stems dripping water from the bucket which they were plucked
blooms of
light pink
fuschia
light purple
exploding in my hand

6. shiz and i
step-perch
feet from the site of the great orange zest fight
of 2011
spooning the slick thin layer of coconut from its shell

7. shiz and i
ocean determined
she
insists
on offering her entire body
to the sea
and i
follow suit
and say
not so secretly
secretly
sometimes
i am scared
of the ocean
to which she responds
not so secretly
so am i

8. if you don’t write a detail about those birds
lester says of the pelicans
spin-diving into ocean
feeding amongst seaweed patches at bird beach an hour or so before sunset
i’ll never read your blog again

9. on our walk back
through an endless cloud of flies rising from the beach
a white crane
(or something like it)
tucked in cliff-edge tree/bush outgrowth
moving strange slow
its white brighter than any other white
its white cutting itself against the yellow sand-cliff crumble
at first we think its injured but later
i say
it must have been some kind of spirit bird

9. from the back seat
while we
wind our way closer to the i-5
i spread almond butter across the cratered surface of
a corn cake
and pass them up
one by one
to lester
to shiz
the sea world christmas tree lit up
as a patriotric tree during every season other than
december

10. the aggro youngish man
loading up band equipment in the truck in front of us while
lester parallel parks
first he
motions and shouts obnoxiously
then he
insists on lester stepping out of the front seat
slides into the drivers seat
to do the job for him
jerking up the parking brake in victory
leaving the vehicle
at least
two feet
from the curb

11. el zarape man reads out numbers
over a microphone at the register
how he puts the word
ready
before the number
and how leaster
cleaning up his spot at the table says
something about how
strange it is to be eating
while all those numbers are being called out

12. shiz and i pass the black ball point back and forth
playing the knuckle tattoo game
where each of us thinks up one four letter word
then pens it on one hand of the other
until the mystery tattoo is completed/revealed
which tonight
leads us to
fire weed
and
fist bird

13. i used to think it sounded like the subtle footsteps
of a giant making its way slowly to our house
shiz says
in her slight lisp
of the distant disneyland fireworks
of her childhood nights

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under poems, poetry, writing

from here we see how the city is set on a curve

1. headed in the direction of coffee
it’s not the first time
thomas plays lucky dragons
thinking
i might like them
and it is also not the first time
i said
yeah
this shit sounds good

2. while thomas pronounces the les
in the les girls sign off rosencrans
in perfect french
red monster truck to our left awaiting turn signal
i make some kind of joke about how most folks
probably pronounce it more like ‘less’
less girls

3. san diego to our left
(a skyline
a bridge rising and falling in one smooth curve-arc
an airport)
ocean to our right
and a cemetery of identical white headstones
spilling endlessly
along the side of the road

4. from here we see how the city
is set on a curve
where concave of land and
convex of ocean
converge

5. climbing the nautilus shell curve of stairs
at the old point loma lighthouse
i press my nose to plexiglass
rooms frozen in the era of 1855 i
want to live here
i say
which is what i always say
when visiting places set up like they used to be
at least 100 or more years ago

6. we
trailhiking
in search of the
1855 travel portal
perhaps
all we have to do is jump
(oceanwards)
while shouting out the time/place
we hope to be transported to

7. felipe
standing at pathfork
yowling
in mock-lostness
i’m
doubled over
with very real laughter
and then
the chipotle jokes ensue

8. yes
we are 35, 29, 29 and 23
but we might as well be 12 with the way
we laugh upon discovering the names of flowers and birds
(blue dicks and wren tit)
printed in black on silver signs as we descend
1.5 gravel miles down to the ocean portal

9. this bench reserved only for those
with awesome sandwiches
pay no attention to the NRA cap atop the salmon-shirted man

10. you guys want wind or air conditioning?
t-square asks
fleetwood mac rising out of backseat speakers
i mean
how can anyone say no to wind in your hair when fleetwood mac is playing?

11. we agree
on the genius of the lyric
you said you’d give me light but
you never told me it’d be fire

12. i choose
the slice of peach pie
and from there on out
we pretty much agree to not purchase any item less than
$7

13. we
step into saltwater
up to our knees
draw cards from the dirty tarot
hiding our contraband glass bottle
which, the ray ban man tells us in a german accent,
is a $300 fine

14. pigeons
drinking from puddles of exhaust
that bus #30 drips out its tail pipes
onto the asphalt of the old town transit center

15. a study in soil properties arrives
via the usps
for a sideyard superstar
in the form of sixteen samples of hydrangea blooms
petals purple blue and pressed into plastic
the closest to porch-perching
we may come
from 900some miles apart

16. if that’s not the feel-good film of the year
i don’t know what is
shiz says
i mean
am i right or am i right?

17. one of eleven new moon intentions:
to continue cultivating the shine/beacon within
that draws/is drawn to the shine/beacon within others
and an open door to an army of lovers
plus
to understand/to feel/to know that there is plenty of time
plus
to be fed/nourished by change and uncertainty
and to understand
in the face of family
my autonomy remains intact

18. shiz living room stretching
her hand collides with ceiling-dangling candle holder
says
how in san diego she kindof feels like she’s in another country
like
how just moments earlier in the shower
canada or something

19. here i
might have some patches i can send you for sewing on or
some newshoe-scuffing techniques
or
anything that might bridge you over into your
punk activist summer camp

Leave a comment

Filed under poems, poetry, writing

having ascended summer mountain

1. shiz and i plus wall-leaning mattress
fill the room
with our cat-cows and triangles and
i fly in crow pose while you
press your back into floor and
cup your knees in your hands

2. i slice up two oranges
6 wedges slipped into a platebowl
one for you (purple)
one for me (blue)

3. security guard at albertsons
when asked how he’s doing
talks about the shade and spending as much time in it
as he can

4. clear water sloshing in glass gallon
cradled and head-balanced in your hands
i like to pretend
i tell shiz
that we’re back in the waipio valley
(hiking 15 minutes out towards the ocean
to gather drinking water at the spring)

5. you call them
spring sproing birds
in upside down handwriting and
i laugh out loud
for the specificity
the sharpness of your memory
and how puzzle-piece fitted i feel

6. a sketched horse released from its stable
munching on grass patches near the address part of  the
sunken ship postcard
it is the word endings
that drops the weighty anchor
and the word transition
that lifts it up again

7. this song embeds itself in skin
landscape
the air itself
i imagine listening in a year or two
and how the hum
the rhythm
the pitch and texture
will carry me back
to this
the place where seasons rotate
longest day of light here and gone
having ascended summer mountain
and having begun the trek back down

8. we walk past the plumeria plant
for the second time in a day
both times bending down to pick up
fallen fragrant flowers
this is not as good as hawaii
but at least it smells like it

9. knock em dead
you say
and mouth to mouth em back alive
feeding each syllable slipped mama bird style
past their lips/ears/hearts
and even if this communication is out of line
it couldn’t have been any better time or any more
perfectly worded

10. four rows back i send secrets in through the side door
when i think i’m not looking
until eventually
i surprise myself
with the truths that choose to surface

11. gathered in a sideyard
we mill near the snacks and drinks
before fitting ourselves into seated formation

12. five poems and i go from zero to onfire in the sideyard
in a matter of minutes
the power of being witnessed
the power of sensing
in the silence
each of you
breath-paused
and offering
i’m right here with you
without even realizing
you had allowed me to take you there in the first place

12. dark hair held back with a crocheted flower she
turns around to tell me
how my work/words made her cry
later christina reports
two other women
wiping at their eyes
which might mean nothing more than
something in them
recognizes something in me
and the recognition is like the shock of running into an identical twin
you never knew you had
followed by the calm
of finally discovering the context
for feeling like something was always missing

13. dearest shiz
asleep
five feet from me as i type
curled under the pinkgreenpurple afghan grandma siedlewski knitted
my deepest
appreciations
for being with me
for chopping salad while i hand-typed details
for stopwatching me while the poems tell me which ones want to go on tonight
for letting me link arms with you on university
in an attempt to
bend time
i am
eternally
grateful

3 Comments

Filed under poems, poetry, writing

magnetism

1. two spoons in the backhouse
fight against morning in 15 minute increments

2. not quite an orange
but just as radiant
carrot juice
(plus kale, cucumber, celery)
i sip slow
breakfast

3. everything’s physics these days
goes the car conversation
from ships to planes
and also
in regards to breathing
the air is waiting to come into us

it’s a pressure/balance thing

4. i hate to interrupt
i say pointing out
the driver in the car next to us at the red light
talking with their hands
not ASL
but broad and specific sweeping gestures
a patch of jewels glimmering on the left hand ring finger

5. er, how do you say it in your language?
horrorfying?

6. along with summer camp wishes
a joke about the green bean brand
at your elbow
sometimes i practice saying see you later
rather than saying goodbye

7. this just in:
quincy troupe is not dead
i repeat
quincy troupe is not dead

8. i use the word magnetism
in the same conversation that corinne
shares this song
and how wrong is it that we are
a continent apart
wishing each other away from our respective coasts
into the warm waters of the same longitude

9. for you
not only windchimes
but a line that goes
i want to undo the ache of distance
pull our front porches a little closer to each other
build a rainbow so that we may walk over the arc of it
to find each others faces (gold)

10. i could give myself over to ache
or i could scrub the silver pots
dissolve the sugar in steeped tea
set the mothers afloat in a
new briney sea

11. 1/4 of an apple
cleansliced and left on top of  bench
at university and lousiana
#7 and #10 bus stop

12. shiz
sunfilled and walking across the tracks
we sing
i say goodbye, and you say hello
goodby goodbye

13. we madlib our way through
our own biographies

14. it was the
vegan cheesecake
that put us over our edges
sugardrunk we stumble towards bird park

15. lester
tosse the pile of hair on the metal frame of playground equipment turned wigstand
while we three swing below
don’t let me forget the wig
he says
seaworld fireworks in the eucalyptus distance
we humming the free willy song

16. shannon on her back on the hardwood floor
imitates a cockroach
flipped upside down
legs and arms scrambling through air

Leave a comment

Filed under poems, poetry, writing

lupe fiasco affirms that the show goes on

1. running shoes tied on over 3mile yellow desert and baseball field terrain
the woman who smiled as we crossed paths earlier
a paper coffee cup in hand
this time yells at ivy the dog to put it down
ivy emerging from the sage brush
an already-dead rabbit hanging in its mouth

2. jane’s addiction floating in through open window under semi-gray skies
clouds shift like tectonic plates
from two doors down at the de-con/re-con site
hum
along with me
along with tv

3. at the tea-drawer manvi opts for something with caffeine
a tin of rose petal black in her hands

4. even though we are here to talk about portland
i can’t help but offer:
-guilt is useless and therefore obsolete and therefore no longer yours to handle
-you deserve to put yourself first
-you owe nothing
later i cut and paste and send an image of wings

5. dirt-wet layers thumb-rubbed from garlic harvest
before twisting greenyellow stalks in twine and hanging them in the breeze
of the frontdoor stairway

6. bird electric-pole perched plucks feathers from its lunch
downy snowflurry carried east on wind
while smaller bird with blackwhite tailfeather
divebombs squawking in distress
while i don’t speak bird i think i still get the
sentiments of grief

7. the library of congress calls him a ‘national treasure
is one way of introducing bob milne,
ragtime pianist and symphonic-brain extraordinaire

8. newly cleaned car already acquired four new layers of filth
we pass a double decker school bus with the first s missing
(chool bus)
headed north on a highway cut through the valley while lupe fiasco
affirms that the show goes on

9. a dog the color of ground cardamom
and a gate as high as my hips how
i must dramatically leg-lift my way over

10. sun unravels itself
spun orange-gold yarn over sequin water
between cloud patches
which does not keep us from heeding rule #3 of the denverites:
if at the ocean, one must go in the ocean
while i push into the waves frothing in you
jump training for next summer’s olympics

11. on the sandy climb back up beacons beach comes the joke about
yelping about this bench
(4 stars: great view but a little uncomfortable
3 stars: everytime i come here, there’s always a wait)

12. connecting the dots between
scarcity and
remodeling
the proof is in the stacks of unused slate in the sideyard
and an oven that required a trip to canada for the buying

13. we hi-five on the walk back
(before or after i almost got killed by stepping into traffic
i didn’t know was there)
at my mismanagement of  summer sublets
and how it at least afforded us this

14. what it must have been like
ten years old and present as your mom
naked and submerged pushes your baby brother through birth

15. your friend your father
pours
kombucha only an expert could have made
the longer you keep them bottled
the more fizzy they get

16. your brother piled
and so
might i add
are you
channeling homer simpson’s hatred for pants and
waving your hands in the air
like you just don’t care

2 Comments

Filed under poems, poetry, writing

the force of missing is a kind of displacement/a manifesto for the summer fallow fields

the windchimes told me everything i needed to know

transformed momentum into sound
turned metal striking metal
into music
rang out reminders of place and presence tugging me up the coast and across time
how the force of missing is a kind of displacement

the poems have been buried for the summer
or
have nudged me towards nest-edge
like a mama nudges its babies

i don’t even know what’s going on in lybia

yes
there has been yoga
there has been ocean
there have been slow motions towards arranging tea and lodging in other cities
there has been balboa park running
and mint chocolate gelatto
and homemade waffles and
extravagant tuesday night dinners
smell of garlic still stuck to fingers

there have been some books i have opened
words i have shaken out
like one might shake sand out of a beach bag
there have been spines
and my fingers finding their way along them
there has been sweat surfacing to skin in a 90 degree room while i
discover ways that being in my body feels effortless and
ways that being in my body feels like trying to fold a map (mis-folding on all the wrong creases)

if there is a manifesto for the summer fallow fields
this might be it
so listen up corinne

i loved it when you helped me weigh
the difference between
what i think i’m supposed to do
and what i want to do
and how i discovered
that it’s not different parts of me trying to cooperate, but actually
two different me’s pushing against each other
bruising up the inside of my ribcage
and i’m pretty sure the oceansalt in-the-moment me is winning
which makes the writer-me panic a bit
which takes me back to the nest where the mama pushes the baby birds out
thing is, the chances are pretty likely that the baby birds will fly

so what is not to trust about whittling a day away
it might be the most important work yet
this body refuses to do anything that looks like going to school
when it doesn’t have to
in fact
i am still massaging out pockets of grief from under this skin
(forearms. calves. hips.)
as a result of
mostly sitting with my neck curved over into a book
or a pile of papers
i am still
panicked at the thought of having to face that concrete abomination of architecture
even though the brain-tingling thinking that happened inside of those structures was good

for several days now i have been catching
movements out of the corners of my eyes
and turning my head to find nothing there
which is the way i describe seeing what i think are
ghosts/spirits

and the crickets at night
are the thing i keep coming back to

today
just around the corner from the windchimes
i plucked a yellow and white plumeria
brought it home to a jar of water
just like i did
on one of our first days in this laundry-softener-smelling city

and yesterday
when the yoga teacher suggested to think of a person or a group of people with whom we want to share the light that our practice brings us
i thought of lybia

Leave a comment

Filed under poems, poetry, writing

flags at half mast i ask

1. nine something a.m. i log into
the bloodhut

2. jasper
peeking around from the back seat
one blue/white eye and one tiger eye
australian shepherd spackled black white tan and tailless
the kind of creature that doesn’t have to try very hard
for me to instantly adore

3. entering ocean beach in a gold-ish colored fourdoor
windows down
ryan tells me how he heard NPR cover a story on broetry
(poetry for dudes)
and while the name is brilliant
everything else about it has us shaking our heads at the sunwashed stucco buildings we roll past

4. rolling south on the 209 we both laugh at
cup of yo
frozen yogurt place stripmalled next to subway

5. post office flags at half mast i ask
if that’s for amy winehouse
to which ryan responds
maybe it’s a war day or something
to which i respond
every day’s a war day these days

6. a softball diamond turned dog park
sandy yellow and plants dried brown against
the unending pacific hope diamond blue

7. unknown so-cal plant #43506:
spiky growths not unlike a chestnut husk
growing in bunches
bushes not trees
where moonscape of blonde sand/rock meets
ocean

8. we wing it at the wash-your-own-dog place
fumbling and wondering
is this how you was a dog?
shampoo-scrubbing jasper’s smore’s colored sides and
stomach
spraying down his sand-coated legs
it was sad when he tried to jump out
ryan says later

9. a phone call dialed from the beach to find out whether the tide
is coming in
or going out
meanwhile
the pelican shadows
cast themselves across the sand

10. saltwater crashpounding sandshelf
before it crashpounds my feet
my thighs
my hips set and squared
against the ocean momentum

11. post-triangle we
a 90degree room of glisten-skin humans
parallel our feet and bend forward
crown of head grazing floor
rachel half leans-on
half slow-pulls the skin of my thighs
into a new way of being

12. must be something about
riding bikes over bridges
beacause pedaling on adams over the 805
gives me enough perspective to say/feel
whoah, i live in san diego!
red and white head and tail lights
snaking through the cool-aired canyon below
i’m hung out over it like a tshirt on a laundry line

13. i don’t brag i mostly boast
without fail
my favorite missy elliot lyric
(and occasional adopted mantra)
of all time

Leave a comment

Filed under poems, poetry, writing