Monthly Archives: January 2012

#333

on the twelfth floor
of san diego city hall
where the chairs are upholstered in
some industrial blue weave
backed by wood
in a four-screw sequence
plus a small metal bracket
which i imagine once held pens
and the only reason i know these well
is that we sat there for a while
before item #333 (san diego urban agriculture: chickens, goats, bees, farmstands)
came up
and i’m not sure where to start first

perhaps the 70something year old woman in a purple shirt
advocating for backayrd gardens and chickens saying
how her friend once stated
well, these things (global warming, etc)  won’t really affect you
in your lifetime
and her response
went something like
do you think i don’t care about those who come after me?

the thirteen year old boy
with a hint of mustache
whose mom took him out of school today
so he could stand and speak in front of the council

and the 6 kids from hoover high school
several whose narratives include refugee status
speaking to the benefits of chickens in their community garden

and the woman who showed up with a pot
a thermometer
a timer
to give a quick simple demonstration
about how to pastuerize goat milk

and the community garden coordinator at some other school

and the bee experts

and the council president asking what is so interesting about bees
and genuinely meaning it

and more laughter and applause than that room may have heard
for who knows how long now

and all those thank yous going back and forth between the citizens
and councilmembers
because this isn’t the first time that they have shared this room
and this work

and the list of at least thirty names
that the clerk reads off
of those in favor who chose not to speak
after the 15 or so who did choose to speak
did so

and kaya waiving her arms when our councilman
talked about the first meeting he had regarding the
chicken crackdown story
and the tears in kayas eyes
matching the tears in mine

and the light that talking about
chickens
goats
bees
community gardens
brought into that room
was undeniable
which also says so clearly something
about the magic of growing ones own food

one of the things i am trying to say is
in this time of impending doom
with the republican circus raring up for election
with water dwindling and about a dozen deaths a day
in syria due to government/military violence
in a time of colony collapse disorder
in a time when it doesn’t seem unrealistic to imagine
hiking along the i-5 towards the rainforests
as the cities breakdown
this small victory
contagioused itself all along the semi-circle of suited faces
a glimmering  flash of smile after smile
not the ‘i’m posing for the media’ smile
but a genuine heart-burst ray
contagioused itself out into the sitting area
the lobby
the elevators descending back to floor one


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so i built it

in the dream
the gearstuck skipping
launched me over the handlebars
with a long pause in mid-air
allowing me time to tuck my head
for the landing
and i was so proud
(before i even hit the asphalt)
of finally falling correctly /
tiptoeing onto mlk in bare feet to collect
stray gears
brake cables
busted cassette

_______

second pen explosion in two weeks commenced
on shuttlebus
hurtling north

_______

things with screens i own:
digital camera
cell phone
laptop
ipod
scanner/printer
i take stock in the wake of vicente’s screenpage
(how now we write on the screen
how because of that
we are under the illusion
of writing a final draft)

_______

it all clicks (our disjuncture) when he says
i wish i could just hook up to an i.v.
so i wouldn’t have to bother with food

_______

8pm headed south
i am looking for something:
a train whistle
a streak of light
someone asking for directions

_______

unable to write/think/work
i bring my body to woodfloor
and ask the earth to hold me up

_______

i go to the needle
the sheeny elastic
the 1 cm seam allowance

the presser foot
the tension dial
the zig zag stitch

_______

how
for the first time in a year and a half
i institute a go-around over dinner
how i wanted coming home
to feel like home
so i built it
with words and wedges to prop the heartdoor open
how i said
one good thing about my day was liz’s voicemail
in spanish
plus skyping with vicente luis mora
(live and direct from morroco
midnight there, three pm here
filtering through spanish and french
to his unused english)
in our seven person translation salon
awaring me of language
how i said
one bad thing about my day was
how sometimes being in school is feeling so much like a
foreigner that after navigating 8 hours of hard edges with this
softer body
i come home headached and unable
and young matt said
it’s gotta be good for your ego
and i agreed
and laughed
about the year and a half of ego conditioning
(and counting)
and how if i certain kinds of failings weren’t consistently
spooled around the thoughtwaves
i might allow myself
a cheering squad
a line of hi-fivers
writing across san diego sunsky

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laughing the cold off our bones

because of tonight’s workload
i have set a 10-minute timer
and when it goes off
i must hit ‘publish’
so i can move on to other homework
and hopefully make it to bed by 1am
work unfinished
but closer to done

_______

the desire
to press pause
for thinking time

_______

today the raw sandwich man
charges me $5
instead of $6
thanking me for always bringing my container
which means
i have become one more regular
at the farmers market
which hasn’t been the same
without mango mango man
for weeks now

_______

fastening elastic to
light blue stretch fabric
zigzag stitch along the edge
if you could see how the maroon/red elastic shines

_______

for the rainforest moss summonings
the setting sun summonings
the silver crescent summonings
in conversation with
dressup documentation

_______

a four year old pointing skywards
compares the moonshape
to a banana

_______

kaya and i
blanketwrapped in
brook and doris’s back yard
last time i was here
so was gaston
and even though there was no chimichurri sauce
or sangria
your spirit
woven through the xmas lights and
gold and red lunar new year lanterns

_______

in the onesie decoration contest
i scribble an earth and write:
world’s most
fabulous kid

_______

i think your name was sasha
and your dog: nika
and i can’t remember your partner’s name
but you were sortof intriguing
perhaps even hot in a san diego dyke kind of way
until you used the word retard
as an insult

_______

kaya and i laughing the cold off our bones
past the guava tree dropping fruit
fried rice and noodle leftovers
plus new years red bean pie
in my hands

 

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the coin told me to stay home tonight

saturday morning dress up
in rectangles of sun

 

forefinger pressing bean seeds into earth
1 inch deep
1-2 inches apart
3-4 feet between rows

 

 

text from the neicephew

 

 

pinning cut fabric
right sides together
on a 2+ year old sewing project

 

 

one of the several soundtracks

 

 

heidi’s wisconsin-mom’s recipe
(substitute dumpstered apples/pears for rhubarb
cut the sugar by half if you can
1 tb molasses +1 cup sugar = brown sugar)
inventory laid out on table

 

the coin told me to stay home tonight

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silver suture

printed paper moon marking progress of
actual sky moon
shape and shine of silver suture needle
glinting with the constellations

 

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the only forward movement

when the daisy cutter was
assembled/invented
the military must have had a poet in residence
perhaps similar to laurie anderson’s stint at NASA
_______

in a 15 student class
stuck like a record skip
the only forward movement comes after
i assert that whore is a derogatory word for a
sex worker
so when the word midget arises
i’ve already warmed up my batting muscles and
knock it out into the stands
_______

when don mee choi says
empire arrived before me
i imagine a train pulling into the station

_______

in the second classroom live video chat this week
román luján talks to us about many things
one of them being questions
how they are half-statements
how they have already completed at least half of the answerer’s response

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laying the cautionary groundwork

in the dream from two mornings ago
i was traveling with the parentals
a road trip
where i told them
it is imperative
that i never go anywhere alone
even to the bathroom
because i know the man who has been stalking me
is waiting
to swoop in
and i was proud
for laying the cautionary groundwork
in midst of being hunted

_______

12:27
64 degrees
reads red bank sign
on the side of the brick building
between the roost and the yoga studio
which is 61 degrees warmer than it was
a few mornings ago
in new berlin wisconsin
where my mom’s employer told her
not to come in because
there was too much unmeltable ice on the uphill driveway

_______

red plastic watering can
manufacturing rain for
the arugula patch
the climbing peas
the green garlic shoots
the chard tree that i’m pretty sure has been growing
since i moved in over a year ago

_______

red lentils in the sprouting jar
turning water cloudy
while stem tails
unfurl

_______

unfurl might be
one of my most
favorite words

_______

might there be a name
for the act of writing letters (or for the letters themselves)
to those who no longer inhabit
this earth / world/ their bodies as they once did

_______

how the rain unearths rocks from
sandy trail soil
and how i wonder about my running shoes
if they have started squeaking as a warning sign
(like the toothbrush with the blue stripe in it
that eventually fades
to tell you its time to buy a new one
which i am definitely going to add to the profane list)

_______

two women so immersed in their french
and their strollers
that even when they do see me running
on the same sidewalk towards them
they do not shift their configuration from side by side to
single file
and normally
i respect the mama’s
but today i lifted my hand in a
what the fuck fashion
as i continued towards
and even though this could happen anywhere
this is the undoing of the forgiveness
yesterdays’ rain brought
san diego
i will never forgive you
and it’s not because of these two women
it’s because of how i’m always fighting
here
how even a crosswalk
a biker
a pedestrian
has somehow been translated by your residents
as something to accelerate towards
before the safe crossing has been completed
which might have to do with
how this city was built
spread and wide
for the blood (oil) powered automobile
which might help explain my
fuck you, san diego
for the struggle of
crosswalks
lack of bike lanes
french speaking mothers doublewide strollers unbudging on sidewalks
five years ago i thought i was done
fighting that way
infuriating could be the word for it
part of me wants to get zen and let it roll off
but another part of me understands
that san diego hates me (in a generic way:
the biker, the pedestrian…)
and would be less inconvenienced
if i wasn’t here
and the last thing i’m going to do
in a case like that
is roll over

 

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