Tag Archives: san diego

today’s celebration:
first broccoli floret appears
on the solstice variety
(one of three varieties planted
in the north garden
near the shade of the juniper)

_______

i pluck purselain
from one of darien’s cucurbit beds
on our garden walk
but quickly rebury it
upon his protest of the uprooting

_______

trish, tyler, darien and i
race our way
without even trying to race
up/down the snow peas
plucking them and thunk dropping them
into 5gallon buckets

_______

in a strawberry bed
where it is difficult to resist
sampling the sweet harvest
trish tells me about her grandpa’s U-pick place
and the wooden pint baskets he gave her later
after the U-pick place closed

_______

mom talks about how the polish pianist ignacy padereweski:
he practiced six hours a day
can you even imagine?
i got sidetracked
by a big bowl of popcorn i tell her
on her 66th birthday

_______

superfizz strawberry water kefir
in small juice glass
with dinner
while mica explains how the strawberries got weird (to eat)
(sucked up the fizz)

_______

you’ve done theater before
celeste asks as a statement
a bit i say why?
you’re a natural
it must be the beard i say

_______

a tray of mostly-eaten blondies
awaits on the butcher block
after arrival home from
fiddler on the roof rehearsal

_______

candlelight glowing
in office room
mixed with the silverwhite glow
of a halfmoon pooling in from the windows

_______

it’s an old question
i tell liz kicking it with her chihauhua named cafesita
in a garage in san diego
regarding the what can poetry do conundrum
i found a few gems she says
regarding shiny humans in the city of san diego

 

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a sun circling

some days there are no details more than sun on skin
while devouring breakfast orange on side porch
in a sleeveless tshirt and short skirt
(and the side porch means the best chair
is a set of steps for citrusing)

no details more than the woman cashiering at min hoa market
who is always the woman cashiering at min hoa market
how we smile (sun smiles) as we both say ‘good’ about how
we’re doing while as she rings up the ting ting jahes and coconut water
in orange and mango flavors and i count my dollar bills and change

no details more than the black tea
(strawberry flavor with bleu cornflower petals
sounds disgusting but the strawberry is a mild sweetness)
and the honey dissolved in it called ‘meadow foam’ (that
solé and mahogany brought me from southern oregon)
and the focus and clarity this tea brings me
(tea that was grown somewhere sunny and collected in baskets on backs
perhaps a mountainside
perhaps harvested by machines instead of hands
but still, these are leaves that grew on a tree far from here)

sometimes the day is made up of nothing more than
church bells on the wind
not that you simply note the sound
but that you recognize it as an announcment of
time rivering past
and you actually count the tolls
and that the bells (if they are real metal struck by metal
rather than a towerless sound broadcast through a speaker)
might thank you for that
sometimes the day is waiting for you to take deep breaths
even though a certain poet would say something about
animating something that can’t be animated such as a day
and though the deep breaths don’t come
there is videochat laughter between here and carbondale illinois
and that is almost as good as a deep breath
if not better
especially when i hear sex parade, when what honna was really
saying was sex tornado
and then we talk about proposed re-routes

sometimes the details are in a brown paper bag with little grease spots
that a housemate delivers from litickers (the liquor store with a taco stand)
because even though i was too busy to adventure to the beach today
caroline offered to bring a slice of beach life (the taco tijuanito)
back to me

sometimes the day was never meant to be any bigger
than wayne reading my thesis in his
raised in the hustle
enlightened by the struggle tshirt
(by mike dream, beloved graffiti artist of the bay area
who was murdered over a decade ago)
while holding junobi’s hand (junobi watching his father read
thesis by the light of his little l.e.d. booklight
junobi who fell asleep sometime after the poetxts and before the notes)
that this is what comradeship/mentorship/allyship could look like
and that these things have sprouted out of a dead place

something about how all this smallness
could not be any more expansive
like the arc of a sun circling
around a planet earth

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the light ahead

addition to san diego cab collection:
rehoboth cab
key cab
how building this collection gives me something to look for
while pedaling over/down/through/across san diego streets

_______

gold graffiti
unwound vhs tape snaking in wind
purpley grasses sprouting out of concrete cracks
pink graffiti
white grafitti
broken glass (green, brown, clear – which is often a little blue)
rusted out mattress springs
abandoned shopping carts (two)
sand footprints
the sound of mango tea and ice cubes
not-quite-clinking (but whatever sound
it is they make in a metal thermos) in my backpack
purple grafitti
maroon/red grafitti
a potted green fern next to a concrete beam
the fluff of something that is like the fluff from a cottonwood tree (but is not the fluff from a cottonwood tree)
pallets lined along the soggy tunnel as makeshift bridge
black graffitti
the screech of the trolly curving on bridges overhead
twisted rusting rebar
busted electronics

a whole sky (is overwhelming
i can’t sleep under a night sky
even the stars are too overwhelming
i have to zip my head into my sleeping bag) above
in the concrete canal where some river must flow through
in the rain times
we are somewhere south
after exiting the series of concrete tunnels
that start under a tangle of freeways
tunnels where people used to go to punk shows
(someone would drag a generator down
but punks aren’t always on it with the planning
so often, no one would actually check how much fuel was in it)
both tunnels are long/short enough
that just when you think you can’t see anything
the light ahead comes into view

if we are heading south, i wonder
if this would take us all the way to mexico?

did you know that when san diego built the highways,
they built them wide enough to accommodate military tanks?

_______

there is a joke about a dealer
and nerds as acid
(pink and purple / strawberry and grape)

_______

our houseguest yos says
oh well, that’s ok
in response to everything he owned in storage
auctioned off three months ago due to an unpaid bill
because the credit card wasn’t set up correctly to the account
and folks at his old house didn’t open his mail to read the notice
_______

ashley talks about a psychic in ocean beach
how the psychic talked about three year cycles
and how the ghosts are still in a house in indiana
and how the loud pan-sounds of making grilled cheese
in an empty house alone
is something she will not can not do
_______

tea the same color as the strawberries in the cardboard pint

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a.m. / p.m.

before the weight of water:

91F78DA3-1138-4A16-B5E3-7E57B0460577_w974_n_s

A boy carrying empty plastic containers follows his mother to help her fetch water, in Dala township, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of Rangoon, Burma. Several regions and states face acute water shortage especially in the summer. – voice of america, day in photos (from a week or so ago)

_______

it’s better to eat the sugar all at once
kaya says rather than having a bunch of insulin spikes in a day
we are walking the one block back from what i call
the trifecta of goodness
(sin lee market, minh hoa market, hing long market)
(a smaller slice of what others call ‘little saigon’)
with ginger candy, coconut water, dried mango and cookies called egg rolls
in our bag

_______

schedule taped to the wall at f & c’s place

-1

any questions?

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not copyright, copyriot

this weekend i said something about coming
home, home being the structure we (queer/genderqueer/trans poets)
create/become when we gather in the same place
home being this thing inside
us meaning the next
time one of us encounters the other, it is really like
encountering all 100some creatures who converged this weekend
and when i said these things this weekend i was
tired because the sun spilled early
over the roof i slept on
which means my voice was worn and by the looks of the people around me while i spoke this
i think they thought i was going to cry
which i kindof almost maybe was
but didn’t realize it til i saw it on their faces

_______

san diego cabs whose names i have begun to write down
(printed in big black along the back of the trunk and on the side doors)
today i collected:
nordic cab
jazzy cab
cool cab
specialty cab
sw cab
asap cab
which i scribbled in to the pocked notebook alongside the previously collected:
eritrean cab
blue ocean cab
river cab

_______

things ricardo dominguez says at the front of the lecture hall
and by the way, he was on today:
you can’t arrest a conceptual art project
electronic disturbance was our urinal, find your urinal
not copyright, copyriot

 

 

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threading someone else

in honor of liz’s request (what’s up liz) over at we are creatures
i’m following a few threads that she tossed out there today
they are neatly numbered

1. Something I am missing:

a. cougar canyon.
in the tent after dark, wake with the sun, watch the moon climb up over the ridge.
space to ramble and explore.
hike conversations and hike silences.
the significance of water where it is rare.

b. every ex-lover.
not necessarily that i want to be with them again. it is not a pining. and perhaps not even a missing.
it is more of that they are still here and i am still here but we are in our own orbits now.
this might mean that i miss bruises blooming, aches the next day that tell the story of the day/eve before.
this might mean i also miss being witnessed.
this might mean i also miss gratifying collaborationship. threading someone else into my layers and someone else doing the same. a convergence of forces. a confluence of brilliance.
(but i was also thinking on my bike ride today, that there is a kindof safety in endings. that when i imagine lover/date relationships, i don’t imagine ones that blur off into forever.)
still trying to make a lover out of letters and words.

2. A quiet truth:

i often like the poets more than i like their poems.
or, i often like their poems only after i have met the poets and heard their poems in their voice/seen the poems in their body.
(in other words, lots of contemporary/experimental work doesn’t engage me on the page.)

3. Something exciting:

is it possible there is anything exciting in one’s last quarter of grad school?
it’s hard to feel excited when there are so many maybe’s.
and that i’m not the one declaring the maybes, but all the places i have sent submissions or apps off to are.
also, the possibility of instructing this workshop (being elbow deep in community writing once again) is pretty exciting. not only that, but that one of my professors who knows about the carved out space in me called missing writing in community thought of me when she saw this in her inbox and sent it my way.
also, that there might be a room waiting for me in missouri under a dome of stars.

4. Something else:

living with someone who works in the bakery at whole foods is like living with santa. we never know what sweet surprises we may find in the morning.

5. A book:

i am re-committing to reading. not that i have time to. but i have owned ‘growing vegetables west of the cascades’ by steve solomon since i farmed in portland in 2001, and i know i have read bits of it here and there, but i have set it in my bathroom so that i will pick it up there and read at least one page a day.
what does it mean that i am learning to do this all over again? pick up a book and actually read it instead of skimming for content to bring to class discussion. what does it mean that the internet stole my attention span?

6. Music:

this song. only it’s me with a guitar and a chord/lyric sheet. trying to get each lilt right. adding my own chords where i see fit. getting tired of the chorus and intrigued by everything else. calloused fingers. paperclip for a pick. wondering who can hear my voice through the windows/walls. considering a garage band remix. wanting to memorize it all. which reminds me of, as well as starting to read again [or at least saying i’m committing to it], a poet who memorized a poem a day. i want to memorize poems. this also reminds me of how paul said that people memorized poems in czechoslovakia because if they were found with the books, they would be killed. these poems kept alive in heads and hearts and spoken in whispers so that others may carry the stanzas. i know other countries/poems/stories/wars like that too. that. THAT. is poetry.

7. Today:

the spray of mist/rain on my face. when i come home and check the mirror, i am glowing. it’s a pacific northwest forest face here in san diego on the rare occasion that a cloud decides to come down and touch us.

A favor (asked by liz):

Please apply to your own life and answer 1-7 below in the comments section. Orrr- on your own blogs? So I can see?

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porchstage

the orange hair of a harpist glowing
on our backyard porchstage
under strings of white lights as she plucks out an anthem a past self
has been waiting to hear for years

chili and cornbread warm
bowls in nightcold hands
spoken word spat and one hell
of a good drummer keeping time

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