Monthly Archives: June 2013

if everyday began

if everyday began like this i say
to F, christina and thomas seated around me
our books splayed our drinks sweating
sometimes we speak, sometimes we read
i go on to add something about the ocean
how the day should begin with the ocean first
then this

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first, the non-alcoholic aperitif by the name of crodino
amber-orange we joke about arsenic and then
the references to the watered-down water

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at the thai place
cat with her mad fish
be with my art salad
and devonne with his tam kha
we pose for a strangely arranged restaurant/table photo
and then laugh with those at the table kitty corner from us who agreed to take the photo
this is goodbye #3 (if you add this one to the one with thomas earlier and the goodbye with wayne which i didn’t even realize was a goodbye which took place whenever the last tlime i saw him – which i think was the in lak’ech

______

in from the water world:

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A barber shaves a customer in his temporary shop alongside a water-logged street in Kolkata, India.
– voice of america, day in photos

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fozzy-bearish puppet on shannons hand
on my skype screen reporting
live from quito
it is when i tell her i miss her
knowing we will be same-space/timing it
that the tears gather but only half spill over

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we discuss the dissolving

first there is yoga
without music
where i get angry when we are asked to close our eyes in tree pose
because it’s like sacrificing one of the poses that i can nail with satisfaction
for something swaying and faltering and not made of deep breaths but a constant catching

then log pose
(a new favorite)
third in a series of hip openers
(pigeon being the second and i don’t recall the first)

sweat shining at my wrists
slowly rolling down my forehead
soaking through cotton of my un-yoga pants at my ankles

_______

then there is a grand reunion at the best coffee place in town where
as one more day in a series of warm days (77 in the shade but must be something like high 80s or low 90s in the sun), everything is iced
including the chai i suck down through a straw

at this reunion, we discuss how rachel jeantel’s approach to narrative
does not fit in the court’s format for narrative
which is kindof like a fuckyou to the justice system

we discuss the dissolving tenure-track teaching positions
and that whole thing about soldiers being thanked for their service
(and how i respond: ok, thank them, but have them thank you right back for serving people food or cleaning their toilets or whatever the work is that you do)

we discuss what we’re working on and where we’re headed

hours later, on c & f’s balcony, it looks a little like this

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kindof maybe a goodbye for a little while

which leads to this:

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the packing of the first boxes

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unnamed phenomenon:
how knowing you are moving away from a city soon shifts your perspective, allows you to see what you may not have been able to before, sparks a surprise sadness, unrolls a golden glow which comes from everywhere

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grass sound

sweetgrass sundrying day #2
how the drier it gets the sweeter and stronger its scent
_______

a post-modern moment from the zimmerman trial
(as in zimmerman, the man who shot trayvon martin)
you said you heard a grass sound, could you tell me how grass sounds?
a wet grass sound, what does wet grass sound like?

also, if it hasn’t happened already
i foresee a creepy ass cracker meme coming on

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image from the water world

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Police and protesters clashed in the Chilean capital Santiago following demonstrations calling for educational reform.  – week in pictures, bbc

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this neighborhood (can i call it mine after living in it for only seven months?)
on a friday night during the days when the heat is picking up
and the yard or park or sidewalk may be cooler than the bedroom or living room
means this place is a thing of aliveness
what that sounds like: crickets mixed with parking lot laughs and front yard shouts and voices drifting out from bedrooms and living rooms as i walk past, the chanting singing of some kind of game rising from teens circled outside a church, stroller wheels clicking on cracks of sidewalk, adult yelling red! green! to a hoard of kids on bikes next to the schoolyard, car windows rolled down apartment windows flung open and music/tv audio spilling out, vietnamese and spanish and english (and maybe other languages as well) filling front yards and driveways

from the park on the hill which is about a half mile from my house
instead of a view of the sun setting
the view is rows of apartments in front of where the sun dips down

_______

the difference between a southern californian and someone who grew up in the midwest:
the southern californian calls this day hot
while i call it warm and am tempted to say things about humidity and mosquitoes
(grateful for the sweat, the sunspill, the way the dining room curtains filter the light while i
slice ribbons of red cabbage, chop green beans, shred carrots, soak lettuce, press tofu between two cuttingboards, heat the burner to medium, chop garlic, slice cucumbers, chiffonade basil, whisk the dressing)

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this is a punchline

this time last year
dezi and i were mod podging black and white hummingbirds (sometimes 25 times their actual size)
onto a green minivan mostly known as the zinemobile
we were doing this in the sun on texas street in front of the house name sometimes the roost and other times the tofu block
we were rearranging the stuff in the back to accommodate my backpacks
we were beginning
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jen asks me to help her back the airstream into the driveway and
while i can yell about being too close or to far to a parked car or the fence
i have no idea how to maneuver that thing and neither does she and eventually
half the neighborhood is helping out (well, ok, three men from our block)
surely this is a punchline to a
how many ______ does it take to back an airstream trailer into a driveway joke
(the blank because i don’t know what you would call us)
when it is over we hug and/or shake hands
_______

six stalks of sweetgrass snipped
at the base and braided together
set out in sun the sweetness
_______

sdge man dangling from the electrical pole out my backwindow
i try to take photos of him holding on against the almost tooblue sky
orange something wrapped around wires
i watch for at least five minutes and note: the way he clips and unclips his harness as he moves up the pole
the sunheat and how his job involves him climbing up into it
the things that look like mini sandbags hanging from his belt
the gloves he slides and and yet he is still nimble with the clippers snipping wires so they poke out like hair that is cut too short
this looking, this i-could-watch-forever reminds me how i have always been interested in
how things are made
(the mockingbird crib-hanging thing that played music when you pulled the string. i took it apart and put it back together again, i remember a cool basement floor and a toolbench too tall. when someone mentions a school or a program, i want to know how they got in, what the process was like, what they are doing there. in co-counseling, we look at patterns. we talk about how they are often formed early in. how these ripple out into our lives.)
i want to bring them lemonade
but we don’t have any lemonade
and there are too many bikewheels blocking the gate to the alley
_______

william and i celebrating being in cahoots with one last session in the chateau before he shoves off
he hands me a book with an inscription
a book by the same author of another book with an inscription that lives in my library
i ‘read’ this book before as a book-on-tape unravelling in a mazda heading east on the i-90/i-94
but it was during a cross-country roadtrip summer breakup tour
which means the words ran through me
(water through a sieve)
and i don’t remember a thing
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i don’t remember what the pose is named
but there we are
a whole roomful of us
balancing on one set of toes beneath us while we kneel/sit with the other leg hovering out front
and i also don’t remember how alyssa said it
but it was something like
when yoga is about nailing the pose
you set yourself up for a win lose situation
but when yoga is about showing up
and there you are on your mat breathing
it’s win win
_______

pinkgold clouds tossed across sky
i pedal under
and when i arrive, we race, dusk and i
no other runners on the path
i trust my feet to tell me where the stones are/n’t
it is the kind of light my mom or sisters used to walk past my room and
flip on the light switch for me in
while i read and read

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i may have used the word

breakfast one: juice i squeezed from four oranges
breakfast two: mango sticky rice

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from yesterday’s second phone call from missouri:
if there is no desk/table, we can build one

(we have a woodshop)
she says
and i may have used the word delightful
and i certainly used the word dreamy

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new installation to the dear beloveds (collective poem to the universe) project
here

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i have a neck tremor
i tell them
and talk about involuntary vulnerability

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numbing before the needle

first
the woman outside the bathroom at the dentist office says
i like your vibe
meaning my outfit/style
and i check hers out and say
yours too
while she holds the door open for me
and she says something about how if she didn’t have to dress the way she does for work
she’d be dressing like me
later
on the bikeride home while powering up the second
of two hills on a day when biking in any direction is biking against the wind
a voice lifts out from an apartment building to my right
i like your stars
meaning my tattoo
i shout back thanks
without trying to find the body attached to the voice that yelled about my stars
because all my energy is focused forward

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in the middle of the thai restuarant talking
about collaring and daddies and ma’ams and
post apocolyptic role plays
if you are someone’s something i ask
then is it not ok to be that same something to someone else?

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there is no terror like
the taking of tools to one’s teeth
even if there is numbing before the needle
even if there are conifers swaying out the window
even if the dentist is kind to his assistants and tells me every step of the way what he is doing
there is no terror like latex hands of a professional stranger working inside this most intimate space called a mouth
i understand that terror is probably not the most apt word
because there is the terror of watching your siblings, your parents bleed out before you
and that is not this kind of terror i am talking about
especially when this terror of the dental variety is a privilege that most people don’t have access to
but there is something (primal?) about teeth
something that my gut says no no no to when someone else goes in there (my mouth) with a drill or pick
which sounds like mining
which it kindof is

hours later
the machines still ring
the teeth still rattling
at least this dentist doesn’t rest the arm of the drill on my other teeth so that it vibrates through my skull
maybe that is part of it
the proximity of these enameled harder-than-bone and rooted-in-bone things
to my brain

we used to die before we outlived our teeth, now…
i say
walking west down el cajon with william in his orange-white stripes

_______

you could try again i say in the driveway
san diego nightsummer on skin
that hand in my hair made me think of some things

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strata, she says, treasure chest

pot of blue bachelor buttons on back porch
watering can water
sucked up in soil and dripping out the drainage holes

_______

two incoming calls from missouri
one from sandhill farm where the sorghum grows and a room with a loft in a building named karma awaits me
one from an astrologer who talks about the promise of the next year

strata she says treasure chest
we don’t need to let go of our old relationships
we need to layer them in

it is an old partnership
she says
many lifetimes
you’ll recognize it instantly

don’t chastise yourself like you always do for not being good enough at what you do
you do this to yourself harder than most of us can begin to imagine
it makes me want to slap you out of it
you are as good as what you do as you possibly can be
you have the skills and the training

you have no idea where your life is going right now
you are centered and grounded
what happens next is still behind a veil
but no matter what it is
you are bout to get in with a really good and caring group
trust yourself to keep moving into another group
where does your ambition lie? find your own values
get clear and strong on your intentions
these will get you through the uncertainty

_______

we like to go down to the trainbridge
that or swim in the pond
that’s what we do for fun around here
she says
_______

rolling in from the water world:

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An Indian rickshaw puller bikes through the rain in Allahabad.
-day in photos, voice of america

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