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12/01 Direct Link
the tree stands by the side of the road every day comforting as any parent

there’s the tree that stood by the side of the road every day comforting as any parent or worse god, laid on its side now blown over by an equal wind

there was a tree that stood by the side of the road every day, comforting as any parent or worse god,gone now blown over by an equal wind

a tree comforting as any parent or worse god stood there every day

every day that was where the tree comforting as any parent stood
12/02 Direct Link
they weren’t there, the first time by, so we drove into town for the breakfast we were meant to have, could have been port townsend or a hippie café 20 or 30 years ago and karen’s potatoes were devilishly delicious and by the time we got back they were there
a glory to behold my new Jason Romero banjo: peacemaker black walnut 12 inch pot, 25¾ scale length, renaissance head, ebony fingerboard peghead overlay, curly maple bindings, mother of pearl and abalone dove with olive branch inlay, bronze cast brackets and shoes

and highs & lows the sweetest sound, my my
12/03 Direct Link
..wondrous fare and abundant pleasure, and such fine sweet music and this thing of it being made for me by you and your own true love and how then the instrument a living changing thing becomes mine is still magic just beyond my ken but on the corner of my imagining and a thing--as well as the music and the peace--that I get to grow into... I’m not sure–as if I’ve no right to such opulence nevermind full of shit since most instrument players–even pianists–have more than one of any given kind–which one to take to my lesson
12/04 Direct Link
so you want to say to her when she goes on and on and on about her neighbors who aren’t even her neighbors anymore which tells you how long she’s been going on and on that she is starting to sound bitter and brittle and as if her perspective is a little whacked and that if even half of what she’s saying started out as true, now lo these many years later it may be a bit out of date and you want to say honey, it’s behavior unbecoming and hateful and small minded and everything that you are decrying
12/05 Direct Link
I dreamed you and I of penhouseink were on our way to the white house to announce mike tuggle’s poet laureateship and we were fussing or I was fussing about what I was going to wear and you brought for me a white dress that I had no proper undergarments for and it was horribly wrinkled and I hadn’t even showered yet but I was not worried somehow it fit and I just pressed so to speak forward and then there were all manner of other dream events that made little or no sense so they weren’t committed to memory
12/06 Direct Link
I wonder she ourmother having dipped these last few days if she in fact remembered or otherwise somehow knows this is his birthday time not that during his living we remembered or openly celebrated his birthday communists like witnesses not much into such self absorbed frivolity ohdeargod

funny as I think of it how in that regard ourolderbrother is much like our father whilst ourbrother who is most like ourfather is not like him in this context at all, being in full favor of self absorbed frivolity

to say nothing of me

anyway, pa here’s to mud in your eye
12/07 Direct Link
been having, never mind that I haven’t worked–as a nurse–since 2004, work dreams that even in the midst of them I don’t seem to be taking seriously as if they’re not real, not what I mean to say, the content is real enough, what I mean is clearly they are anxiety dreams but they don’t generate anything but a bit of mirth, the anxiety holding fast to the dream’s stand-ins, very odd

so it’s hard to tell if I’m anxious and don’t know it or not anxious and know it or not anxious and don’t know it or should be
12/08 Direct Link
privacy is a relative and rather elusive illusive thing I think just having come from our town safeway–not unlike “social safeway”of Tales of the City fame–where in front of god and any neighbor that wished to come by I was standing, delightfully unselfconscious–truthfully we’ve come a long way baby–in front of the personal lubricants having been caught woefully unprepared on our recent road trip but it was needing to put my glasses on to read the small print heh heh that put it all in its proper perspective and so it was my hysterical laughter that brought everyone running
12/09 Direct Link
lo these many years later, grown up and all with bookcases that don’t bring to mind bricks and boards and now sitting on the floor by choice leaning against oh so solid and comfortable chairs wearing first hand clothes and the only seeds and stems redwood detritus time is still the measure of pieces of wood which by now have also given a particular shape to my attention span, it’s innate now
like the rhythm of a poem

the canyon goat stood proud yesterday morning chin into the sun on the surfboard perched in the tree heralding a glorious day
12/10 Direct Link
walking–not looking–I found her–not waiting–there at the point where fear is fallow at the mouth of the bay where there’s only the next wave and comfort today she is the particular green color of the sea against the moss green of the jutty’s hillside, I cross into adoration she on the other hand still mistakes her mother for a friend and a confidante as if that were the basis of their trust; she is lost in disappointment

I saw seals and found a footprint

I know too where to find excellence–but there–it is something other; passion and hearty bravery
12/11 Direct Link
I am still remembered by her love, I am held in place

he–one of the intimate strangers with whom we cross paths–doesn’t like to be cold so he starts a fire before he goes into the water, impervious in my “still homeless hat” I would today take my leave to enjoy but not tend his fire; a different footprint speaking of the bus driver had a penis disguised as a lean woman’s body tattooed on the length of his forearm armed but stuck with a vox populi I had no leave–nor idea how–to approach that so public but personal space
12/12 Direct Link
she like her son’s blood was disseminated he having bled to death all of a Thursday sudden the story was scattershot preventing any sort of sympathy any sort of coming to grips any sort of company any sort of making sense of now she could not be any particular where but for the briefest second

she came to tell us she said just in case something freaky, she said pulling that word out of the air, happened

close to ground zero it the death of her son fulminated into a mission of mercy

she came and went in isolation, untouched
12/13 Direct Link
year in review 3 (banjo) trips to sonora; 2 trips to redding; 4 trips to winnipeg; 1 trip to seattle; 2 trips to arcata; 1 trip to hayward printed a volume; went and took it to the book fair; hosted poetry walk and read poetry; hosted reading and celebration for vol 5 and read; read poetry on the local radio station; haven’t yet sent out “the story” haven’t yet finished it, did pull together some of the family collection; stuck on the novel; didn’t attend any classes or a conference, did generate something new at least once a month maybe
12/14 Direct Link
so, I’m thinking of geniuses well I was thinking of his music and how it’s lost its heart and I’m thinking of the achilles heel of genius which is the wont to think that it, being genius, is good enough, but it ain’t enough–this defaulting to ordinary–and there’s nothing that wears thin quite as fast as bare bear genius

and bred and surrounded as I still am by those who are whizkids this I know–it’s a kin to the emperor and his new clothes with none who dare or perhaps care to say what it is that everyone sees
12/15 Direct Link
the wash of late afternoon harmonies undo me though I learned this too from my mother, wouldn’t have thought to wander to melancholy there or then I’m more the cheeky underpaid scullery maid ruddy, pudgy, sweaty my mouth running flirtatious; pregnant bounds overstepped and undecided about the outcome, either are possible both are doable
I come to tears seldom but more of late in the geography of sunlit kitchens gingham tablecloths and open windows; the fifteen year old, first recital missing her high notes but glowing pleased beyond her wildest imagining for the going forward of it just the same
12/16 Direct Link
I’m thinking of just that thing, those things, that all of a forever sudden changes ones life, ready or not; ready or not the all of sudden in which ready or not your life changes forever is not foretold, the death of her son has colored even our lives, but love crossing ones path is no less upending, brain tumors, floods, surfing, banjo lessons, falling out of love, making an unforgivable mistake, not paying attention for the wrong split second-- the cat thinks she’s about to swallow the canary but it’s fire she’s playing with,
being a sassy redhead again
12/17 Direct Link
it was a december blue moon lo those many years ago that he, my soul mate, my king sister friend consort, that he one of my first secondary–this long before the language of poly-amory hit the word list–husbands died, long before I knew the language of dying but it is not December nor the full moon that brings him to mind but the sassy redheaded scullery maid who calls him forth, he even moreso than me was an unbridled flirt, afraid of neither god nor the devil he addressed them in one breath; he above all knew my real name
12/18 Direct Link
past fun, it’s mahogany –more burgundy than red–to sassy as hell and bold! Moe good as exclaimed when I strolled by on my evening walkabout, it has a fantastic density and cheek a certain in all senses of the word je ne said quoi and it’s mighty, catches folks by surprise not so much that they’re taking another look at the hair as you can see them figure out they don’t didn’t know me as well as they thought and they wonder what else they might have missed, ah yes,

she’s going to ask, I know she is, why now
12/19 Direct Link
I started out to say there’s no answer that doesn’t somehow add up to the same kind of wisdom we otherwise call intuitive, but I’m wont to say it was the geography of it, I was just in the–sassy hair–neighborhood

they’re going to think I was throwing my shoe–which ended up in their yard–at their dogs which I may in an erroneously carried out action fashion in fact have been but I wasn’t, just meant to bang it loudly enough to scare the shit and bark out of them, OurFather, keeper of just such actions is howling in his grave
12/20 Direct Link
my chin is full of just those wayward, and of a time but who understood or cared back then, chin hairs that as a just about to be young woman struggling with fit and nonconformity I found audacious in the full extents of the word, now of course I need–my selfsame–glasses to see and pluck the damn things but one which I leave as fair warning for the about to be young woman, who not only doesn’t need glasses to see it but can see it from across the store never mind the aisle, to be properly offended by it
12/21 Direct Link
odd business this wanting to know–they called working the network they said–having just heard (or read in the newspaper) a friend of their son’s was in every parent’s nightmare car crash hitting a tree going too fast and they wondered if my husband–their neighbor a friend of 16 years and one of the nursing supervisors at the hospital where the newspaper said the kid was taken–could would tell them anything...aside from the many nursing practice risk management legal and ethical issues raised is the specter of reality tv vicarious but hands clean participating not to mention cowardice come clean
12/22 Direct Link
I dreamed of him, the proverbial my husband’s best friend who–of course–I was in love with and yes he with me who the night before my wedding took my hands and said you don’t need to marry him thrusting me into not only what do you mean?! but of course I do! and I dreamed I said I loved him and it was he I should have married and we sat he and I face to face eye to eye with the truth of that and the some sum forty years that have passed since that opportunity was not taken
12/23 Direct Link
2 elections past and eight years later I’m weary of what plays, weary of faith, of christendom, of ours and theirs of fear, fear at large and my own large fears not that we haven’t been here before and not that we’ve learned yet; I want bottom lines, top and sidelines too, and wit, and wisdom; the wisdom somehow gone missing, and elders to respect, never mind that we are next up and struck dumb

meanwhile the rains have come in time to divert this year’s water war; the juncos are back and paul’s new surfboard is on its way
12/24 Direct Link
I thought you understood, he said
what do you mean?
there were no secrets, you knew I was...married
you’re not married, she said
well in a committed relationship, he said
is that right?
yeah, yeah it is, I am, he said
I understand even less, then
you knew, he said
does she know?
know what?
does she understand?
there’s nothing for her to understand, he said
do you understand?
there’s nothing to understand, he said
do you love her?
of course I do, he said
what does that mean?
what do you mean?
I thought you understood, she said
12/25 Direct Link
he was right, you know, you went into it with your eyes open
means nothing in the final analysis
as you’re fond of saying you knew the job was dangerous when you took it,
true but irrelevant here
no it’s not
you misunderstand, I’m not blaming him for my feelings, nor do I mind them, it’s the artful pretense–
Esther trying hard not to laughed anyway
it’s not funny
listen to yourself...it’s not like you loved him
what does that mean?
you’re acting like the woman scorned
that’s what he thought and where you both are wrong
then what?
12/26 Direct Link
the risk, a momentary lapse of reason, was the same for all of us, even for her, whether she knew or not and in the moment where and when it takes place everything that came before is erased, it is in that moment all re-created and you don’t know how it is going to come down again, that is the magic and the curse, that is the thrill, the come on and the come and the take it home, and there are no protections, there is no understanding, no knowing de facto
so?
call it this or that, changes nothing
12/27 Direct Link
in short thinking of last year there’s only it was damn fine to be said

as is the way of coming to a threshold I–of a sudden having forgotten to take my pill or not having taken it and then being taken over by some stomach bug and not taking it and not knowing whether it was withdrawal or a stomach bug even though it started before I didn’t take the damn thing–started a taper of my lyrica and the physiology of my get together is undergoing a rekindling or not as the case hopefully will be

time will tell
12/28 Direct Link
...the blow a man down rains are coming and again there are those in the neighborhood who don’t know nothing about rains that blow a man down so I went across the way to tell the youngster alone in his parents’ house about the what may be coming, and how he was of a sudden responsible, and all the while he was nodding yeahyeahyeah his eyeballs were glazing over and he sure as hell was thinking he wished he’d hightailed it off to The City before I came a calling cause now it was on him and he knew it
12/29 Direct Link
so I didn’t write the american novel this year and he didn’t hang ten but the passion for the possibility of it still fills the sails

there’s no one that can call himself christian absent compassion no man that can call himself godly absent an imagination after all what is god if not possibility and what is creativity if not imagining and what is faith but imagining possibility; taking the bible literally misses the point

we for better and worse are older than we were and take ourselves far less and time or the less of it far more seriously
12/30 Direct Link
I write this on the eve of my wedding. To a man–your grandfather–I’ve just met. To a man I’ve known all my life. I’m guessing he feels the same about me. I betrayed him, or betrayed myself after which he wasn’t able to look me in the eye. The love lasted–it was the day to day like which fell by the wayside and of course truth and trust... truth, he’d said, never heard of it, no such place around here! But Trust is in unincorporated Madison County, North Carolina, damn near the Tennessee border. Blink and you’ve gone through it.
12/31 Direct Link
so I got it today ‘playing for irma’ –realizing feeling sensing knowing understanding I was –not caring about whether the notes were right in that the right notes were not in and of themselves the most important consideration in ‘playing for someone’ not the most important consideration in sharing ones or in this case my sense of the music or the instrument or me or the moment
more important is the evocation

and there it is now the time of provocation gone by

and so it is in the imparting in the giving over of oneself it’s the poetry, ah