Monthly Archives: February 2017

your writing is not written

tyler showing me a sampler of the special forest spots
while we ascend along the lichen-covered rock-scapes
and how, once vesta is mentioned, i can’t stop
(calling the land ‘vesta’s place’ or ‘vesta gayfeather’s’, etc)
_______
she tries to remember the name
for the tiny balls of snow/hail
that are neither snow nor hail
but also kindof both
as it bounces off of everything
(the pinecones, the fallen ponderosas, the earth stars) including us
while filling the air with a gauzey haze _______

how i can hear echoes of debbie talking about the grandmothers
(and pot shards and how they like to be seen) as tyler talks
about the rocks around us
_______
i’ll be your sous chef i say to erika
as we head to the river house which is where i discover
(as i chop cilantro, slice avocado, finely chop a shallot and wash the dishes)
that not only do we both grow things,
but we are both writers and we’re both
familiar with this phenomenon
called self sabotage
_______

slicing plantains while i ask questions about things like
why you say your writing is not written
for a large audience to read or why you don’t
want that
_______

the mug of cota tea erika hands me
harvested wild
from the hills/forests
_______
in the time it takes to boil a kettle of water
the slightest moon goes down
into the western ridge
_______

tyler and i peanut gallerying
as erika reads about hermit peak
and augostino, the penitente 
that it’s named for
and how, before that, it was ‘hill of the owl’ in spanish

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eight years back in a room

the jingle-jangle of 
bells and chains strung
inside harvey the truck/camper
as we sway in the high winds while heading north
on the 25

________

in some ways not ideal tyler
(in regards to land/house search, but really, applies to so many things)
but it is still good

_______
kit fox
erika says
of a special animal who visits
along the quiet gurgle
of the river/creek
_______
the sangres were always east in santa fe i say
it’s strange to be on the other side now
and the sun sets behind them
_______
rags whipping in the wind
on a line strung across the 
river house porch
_______

how the smokey new mexico chile scent of soup loaded with cilantro
and avocado cubes still fills the river house
as i curl under the layers of covers
_______
the same bottles of oils
with typewritten labels
including oak moss
in their same little wooden cabinet
that once sat bedside
8 years back in a room in a house
on holland street
where dwelled the best
porch-prince ever
_______
coming alive might be a way
to describe what it feels like
to walk under a sky mad with stars
again

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and all the red

the tiniest trickle i climb up
to investigate whether spring or creek
while michelle hangs out below with monkey and kali
and all the red rock on the way
and the shine of mica
that is mostly irresistable
_______
the hand-painted banner flapping near the top
of the land where the top of the nearby ridge can be seen
its letters read: womyn’s land
since 1979
dykes, bi, straight
_______

plopped on the ground in a patch of sun
we reach in our bags for snacks
and she passes me, brought back from turkey
the best dried apricots/figs/strawberries ever
_______

an occasional ping! pop! now and then
the pots that were taken out of the kiln yesterday
still talking
_______
over tea and ginger cake
on the big couches in the lounge
on kate and i’s last night
and most of the crew is here
i tap out typewritten odes
on notecards
including the ode to the river otter
and an ode to four minutes and an ode
to a maiden voyage

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it is the clay and glaze

the tiniest ping! pop! glassy sounds
the clay vessels (fired overnight and laid out on table) make
courtney calls it talking (the pots are talking to each other)
she says it is the clay and glaze
settling in/getting used to
each other
_______

how we speak our gratitudes
as we pass, cupful by cupful around the circle, water
how we fill the water with thanks
before we drink it
how we take care not to spill and learn with each passing
how to take even more care
_______

in a time of dying languages
(and cultures connected to them)
there is extra magnificence
in the voice of the woman
with flowers behind her ear
who belts it out in a way that remindsme of
chavela vargas only 800 times more loud and fierce
while the hair on the fiddle bow frays in a frenzy
and the bass guitarist uses his whole body to play
and the guitarist uses his entire spirit to play
and the fringe on the light brown jacket and chaps of the spanish village folk dancers
slide and stomp and scuff along
to the songs that have been taught/gathered in pieces
throughout the region

while the bend and creak of the floor of the oldest church in santa fe if not the united states
gives (in a sway, not a break kind of way)
and lone Piñon
fills the space
our bodies
our heartbeats
with more heartbeats

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dig underneath the story

the slap of wind so cold and hard to my face while running
it knocks the breath out of me
but the morning view of the sangre de cristos
and the jemez off in the distance
are worth it
and my limbs and lungs singing afterwords
is worth it too
_______
the two thumbs down and the fart noise i jokingly make
as toni and i sit down for the end-of-residency check-out
and how we say we’re going
to miss each other
_______

dig underneath the storymaking bruin says
have compassion instead of attaching meaning
sometimes the places we feel the most
ourselves are our growth zones
_______
all the laundry hanging around my room
because it is so dry here that the notion
of a dryer is absured
(this one’s for you jessica zeng)
_______
robert’s cold faces as he holds up a poster
that says you tried to bury us
but you forgot
that we are seeds

_______

i give good legging franco says
i’ve heard that about you i reply
_______
her last name is love and i don’t remember the first name
but she stands at the mic untangling/clarifying
all the current legislation around im/migration
and she is matter of fact and she is badass
and her heart is bigger than this room and when we’re clearing the chairs out
at the end of the night she says
that she is exhausted
(and i can bet every other badass immigration lawyer in the u.s. is most likely saying the same)

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a kind of surrender

the palmful of bobbe’s new mexico
blue corn seed that i funnel with an
open palm into the tiny manila envelope
that liana holds open
_______

the tour includes but is not limited to:
the impressive piles of wood, hand chopped
seta’s smile and how she’ll crawl under the tunnel of human legs
the curve and wind of the acequia ditch
and what is guessed to be the three graves of a pet cemetery
that they have decided to leave alone

_______
michelle tugging me to the counter
insisting she pays the artist’s way
to a northern new mexico 
calabacita enchilada meal
and later the trinkets from turkey
(the blue glass eye that is watching, 
the small notebook with the leopard print-clad
man on a horse on the cover and the 
shiny yellow fabric pouch that it all fits in)
that she shares
_______

the squeezy goodbye hug
twice
and how i call
love you! i call out the window
to the farm-dirty twosome
walking down the road past the
tiny co-op and ice cream shop
as we drive out, towards the river and away again
_______
the way i lean in towards
(a kind of surrender) the mountain-melt
of the cold clear rio grande
and al the gray brown gold rocks
that color it
same kind of leaning
same kind of surrender
i might offer
a lover
_______
the incredible dark blue of the jemez
with the incredible sifting of snow
on top under today’s incredible sun
as we drive south in the glow
_______
the plane that david folds
from a piece of orange paper
on which he writes
come on over,
you’re welcome here
_______
it’s our grief i say your grief is my grief
to molly who is overcome with it all
and, really, how are we not all
overcome all the time these days
seems to be a relevant question
_______
and we could be comrades i say to terry
after the workshop
while we joke about me living here
and teaching creative writing at
the community college where she works
_______

_______
from the water world:
9a8321a0-7544-41d5-bd02-63cc281178a5_w1023_s_s
Floodwaters surround a playground in San Jose, California. Thousands of people were ordered to evacuate their homes in the northern California city as floodwaters inundated neighborhoods and forced the shutdown of a major highway. – voice of america, day in photos

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there was always a baguette

we can just dance around each other i say to the woman
who excuses her mopping around me in the kitchen
as i arrange an open-face sawndwich
in front of the toaster
_______

what time do you get out of here the young
office depot delivery man
asks after setting down the ream of paper 
outside the office door
the smoothness of his at-least-twelve-years-younger-than-me voice
careening off the white walls in the entryway
_______
walking west into sun so bright and low
that everone
is illuminated
_______
opulence i say as aurvi and i trek our way back
groceries in our bags 
as i talk about photos from the one million dollar wedding
_______

mom and dad and i laughing
over skype when talking about me
calling my senators and him saying 
something like
well, good, this means you don’t see the need to lock yourself to anything anymore
and me saying oh, i still see that need.
all tactics are necessary right now
_______

aurvi standing there with the third bottle of wine
and how i laugh because if she were a superhero
a semi-full wine bottle would be her
magic secret power accessory
_______

how all of us here gathered
around snacks and wine and words reminds me
of our mid 90’s poetry gatherings
with jan (pronounced yahn)
and izzy and brock and jack and marje and angie
there was always a french baguette and
a bottle of wine

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