01/01 Direct Link
Man, now that's the way to start a new year – with a pounding hangover headache and a hot meal you can smell from upstairs. I got the fill-in-the-blanks recounting of all that happened last night after my memory couldn't handle the liquor anymore. I love it – like someone's throwing me into an imaginary plotline, surprising my mouth with its own dialogue. I love to be in a place that's safe enough to let all inhibitions out the window, to know that you're going to wake up the next day laughing with someone despite hangovers and a.m. polaroids.
01/02 Direct Link
I bought a book in Half Moon Bay, a little leather-bound book with all-natural pages. I want to make another book of poems like Michael's. I was so proud, so dedicated with my time and hands and precision. It won't be the same though. Michael's book was so centered because all of my words were for him. I don't know what I'd collect now or who the final cut would be suited for this time.
01/03 Direct Link
It makes a world of difference leaving a place when you know you're going to come back to it. It makes an even greater world of difference when you commit to yourself to not become a stranger before you return.

I leave Mountain View heavier in gifts and home-cooked food, lighter in spirits and doubts, more cognizant of myself and my sought autonomy, loaded with real snapshots to download to memory.

We cry, we pose, we drive, we confess. We note the weather, the voices outside, the voices that come from a shared inside. We build one cocoon from two.
01/04 Direct Link
It might sound weird, but it's true… when I drive to the west, I find nothing; I waste my time. When I drive to the east, I always find something; something always finds me.

He said it, and it struck me in a way that matched no one else in the room. Buddhism continues to intrigue. I've found truth in it that halts my consciousness, calm in it that makes my disharmony a 1+1=2 equation, a simple deduction of excess, rotted roots.

Now we're decorating in the flicked lines and wrist-swirled curves of asian calligraphy. Bonsai, bamboo, bodhisattva; dharma, nirvana.
01/05 Direct Link
How to create your own space, how to get your walls and doors and baseboards in the right hue and column color.

Let's choose between the living room color options: Palm Pad, Tickled Crow, Botanical, Olive Leaf. Now between the bedroom choices: Pale Gold, Jagged Edge. And the for the kitchen: Snug Cottage, Bisque, Bird Song.

We're painting our house in colored phrases, misleading guiding titles. We wanted a sky blue abode to drive up to, but somehow our house became a smurf temple. So take your time, test your patches, match your rugs, tapestries, throw pillows.

Live in palettes.
01/06 Direct Link
How to create your own space, how to get your walls and doors and baseboards in the right hue and column color.

Let's choose between the living room color options: Palm Pad, Tickled Crow, Botanical, Olive Leaf. Now between the bedroom choices: Pale Gold, Jagged Edge. And the for the kitchen: Snug Cottage, Bisque, Bird Song.

We're painting our house in colored phrases, misleading guiding titles. We wanted a sky blue abode to drive up to, but somehow our house became a smurf temple. So take your time, test your patches, match your rugs, tapestries, throw pillows.

Live in palettes.
01/07 Direct Link
Mom's birthday. Forty-four. I took her out to see Cold Mountain (I took her out, meaning it was my idea and her two free AMC tickets). A drama, love story, and 19th century setting – and I don't have to feel like a chump for liking it.

Mom and I should've spent more time together. For all our similarities, for all of the characteristics I've taken from her cue, for all of our simple feminine pleasures – why did I hole myself up so long? Why did I spend so much time alienated from them, not finding the warmth of the womb?
01/08 Direct Link
You were angry, maybe. Not so maybe. ‘You get a few drinks in you and you're ten foot tall and bulletproof.' I guess it goes for both of us. Enough of a drink and talk from me, and you're a ghost walking through walls, a pillar of broken strained stoicism.

A symbol of Chinese peace covers it now, a wall scroll marking your weakness. Patience.

Patience plasters future regrets.
01/09 Direct Link
School starts up this week. I put my faith in Christy to kill off some brain cells before academia sucks my brain back into a five-month-long-all-natural stupor. A keg at the Verde, a horde of Hilary's and Dan's, and just enough corners and doors for me to regain solitude as every five minutes demands it. It's good to be back in Flagstaff. It's good to feel the warm of alcohol fighting the cold of January. You don't need a smoke to see your breath, but you still have one anyway. Red Dixie cups, bottoms up.
01/10 Direct Link
Sex. The word alone incites its own feelings, taboo lustings, mentally hoarded fantasies. A stepping stone into another somatic galaxy. I have good sex. I don't know that I make it good whatsoever. I don't know that he does either. I know that sometimes it's an anesthetic, sometimes it's clitoral coke. It might make me want to put on black garters, or might make me want to put on a painting frock. I feel sexed up. How many people can say that? Sexual satiation. Monogamously. Familiarly. Sincerely. No emptiness to fill here. Just loving the embodiment of what we love.
01/11 Direct Link
what's really free becomes everything you need. no man can buy the blue sky for a price, hold the white moon apart from a star. every september laughs weaker; october must carry the chaos again. don't lose the best of you to the bruising on a razor edge morning or month. keep wonder in your focus; because music starts to sound like money - you can get a subscription to obedience in the mail, the newsstands, the bible, a label. swallow the process, build a rubber army. we are manufacturing identities, creating financially inbred communities, upscaling our needs with the Jones's.
01/12 Direct Link
charity is the last performance it won't matter to us we got what we want gonna keep what we think we'll need eating towers of additives sucking the inside out of the land

business has no room for fear people gotta shop, bet, grab, win ordering fitness, placation, drugs, sex out of hollywood magazines

their essential is a two-way sword pay for what you get but get more than you'll ever need there's a monkey giving me clothes for cash says my size isn't right, this European hooker get a new body, a better face make dumb your only defense
01/13 Direct Link
Something strangely ancient, earthy about my sociology professor. Mahmoudi, where's that from? Did he say India? Persia? Enough travel, enough culture, something must just seep into people's skins – a worldly wisdom that changes speech, diction, tone, right down to the lecks in the eyes. He seemed to be preaching a sermon on love, advocating a necessity for brotherhood, stressing that communication is all that will save the warring of human lives. Why doesn't anyone else say it this simply? How do we turn something so simple into something dividing nations and families? Why is a conversation so reliant upon relativity?
01/14 Direct Link
From 271 to 371 to 471, my poetry courses grow in merit. Suzanne LaFollette, Eric Greene, Mel Hilchie, Randy Sproat, Faith Purvis, John Star Gilmer, Jim Simmerman for professor. He's so focused on form, wants us to see sonnets and iambics and odes for line lengths and syllables. Meanwhile, we've got a room full of free-form fanatics, go by your guts gusto, unrhymed and unmetered verbalism. This is where neo-art is coming from, but we must learn a respect for the places Rimbaud and Shakespeare have come from too, learn the strength of fourteen lines and a killer closing couplet.
01/15 Direct Link
All of the English professors on campus, and a small handful of the rest, order all of their books through local bookstores. None of this on-campus recycling of overpriced texts to earn the university more money. No, support belongs somewhere where the exchange of moneys is actually relied upon for paying bills and buying groceries.

Aradia is the book nook of choice in this town. A white-haired heavy-set Irish women runs it; bumper stickers lining the ceiling, half of them bearing humorous Celtic pride, and a cat who resembles her in size and hair color.

She named him Biblio. Perfect.
01/16 Direct Link
We were hoping to roll on mushrooms this week with Ryan and Tiffany and their pals. Would've been a good time, too. Haven't done it since freshman year up here, one trip to recall when everyone else is doling out their stories of rock stars starting to dance out of their posters on the wall, fingers expanding inches before your eyes, tears that feel like sticky paint on your face. It didn't work out – for money, availability, emotional reasons. Your mind really has to be in a good place or you'll end up spending hours trapped in a personal hell.
01/17 Direct Link
It's Kyle's 20th birthday. I don't know why, but despite his kiddish looks I always thought him older than me. I guess there's an inherent sense of maturity in his child's play. One minute he claims he's a ninja, professes he'll take over Canada and turn it into a prison wasteland; the next minute, all of the balance and moderation and insight I saw in Raul comes through in him.

He cocks his head when he hears you lie, the way my dog used to when I mixed the cheap food with the good stuff to dupe him into swallowing.
01/18 Direct Link
The force of form, the rules of iambic pentameter that shove me into Shakespeare's shoes. I'm not used to this. I don't want to come out sing-songy and jingly like a writer of commercial tunes.

But the feet must come out right. Iambs, not trochees; pentameter, not triameter or di-. How can I help but find cookie-cutter words to fit cookie-cutter guidelines?

I'm a free verse girl. I'm a pen to paper until the end kind of girl. I don't want to be a queen of sonnets or haikus. I want my voice to metered by my throat, nothing else.
01/19 Direct Link
Jordan and I started our diet today, in one sense or another. (Should I laugh now?) We ate a salad, had the right mentality for the day, but still managed to fill our mouths with the excess we're used to.

I don't stick to this sort of thing, don't have a regiment of an apple and mile a day. I just have a notion of how healthy I could feel, how my body should work. My lungs and heart have me winded too soon, sugars make me sick or sleepy, my joints creak like haunted houses. 20 going on 60.
01/20 Direct Link
What is it about snow that absorbs cold? Does it come down scientifically to a color wheel and set of hue qualities, that black absorbs and white repels heat? Or is it a fuzzier seasonal fact, that the look of a white December or January puts our bones at ease? Even the numbness of fingers, nose, and cheeks is different.. we feel frozen in a landscape instead of stumbling against the harsh brokenness of winter wind.

I feel fingers fade away. I see the ground sparkle in crystal dreams. I've never wanted to see everything and feel nothing so much.
01/21 Direct Link
Only certain things understand womanhood… Certain things like a woman, a forward-minded child, a cat, a sister who has a child and relationship she doesn't understand. I feel like I'm supposed to impart these things upon her, upon her affecting Tony, upon Jordan affecting me. But it doesn't change.

The "trifles" of women in the 1800's are still the trifles of women now; we are fighting to be accepted as givers of truth; we are fighting to be accepted as realistic beings, humans with reasonable feelings. But vaginas, emotions, mothering morals, every childbearing organ gets in the way, weakly brooding.
01/22 Direct Link
They say tequila is the real evil of all the liquors – brings out the mean spirit, turns your stomach and fists and mouth into a sloppy fit of regrets. Cory says its vodka, that vodka will throw your judgment askew and wreck your mental standing.

So how could such a sweet, milky drink get so ugly? Khalua, Ketel One, half and half. White Russians – wolves in candy's clothing (is it just me or does alcohol-association always make things kinky?).

The carpet is hardened with sugar, and we found out the wall wasn't the best counter to hold a rocks glass.
01/23 Direct Link
We walked into your empty bedroom tonight, giant king-sized bed with stained sheets, the TV and its stand, the boxed antiques and chandeliers of your mother's – all taken away, stowed in the garage or Pat's room. Four white walls with scraped and tape-peeled paint, dusty lampshades and closet shelves – all that's left of your presence in a soon-sold home.

Barb and Mike are well on their way to the bed and breakfast. The construction is beginning and the house is being sold in the summer – hence the empty eggshelled corners of your memories. Soon it'll be farewell to the Ranch.
01/24 Direct Link
Went to visit Phil's for the first time in a long while. Last I remember being there was this past summer, new roommates abound, Jordan and I walking on invisible thorns.

They've got the bar set up now, cold keg of shitty watered-down American beer behind it, same old dartboard, green felted card table. Things are looking good. A stripper pole was supposed to adorn the corner. Apparently the gal living there is fond of sharing her tits, so it works out. As long as I'm not around.

Played some Texas Hold ‘Em, lost about $15. Gambling isn't my vise.
01/25 Direct Link
I emailed Ma and Pops tonight. Haven't talked to them on the phone in two weeks or so. They've left a few messages, always with a tone that advances in concern for no reason other than my lack of promptness.

I told them about moving back in with Jordan, a topic I'd been vaguely evading until I got it over and done, completed my decision. They responded casually, "thanks for giving us the scoop" the main message in Dad's words.

He keeps saying I can email him whenever I want, finally recognizing that more comes out of me that way.
01/26 Direct Link
In a place where I never take God's name in vain and cellphone companies don't sell communication in minutes, you won't blame me for our conversation's shrapnel

wounding. You know the stats of Vietnam like your PIN number, spout the ranks of aces, towns targeted for napalm; my stats and data didn't make the banks

of your memory. You're getting too old for ‘daddy's little girl' smiles to smooth over the ways I've broken your boughs – and I'm still too weak to be soothed

by this love that you turn into war for a two-star daughter who never earned four.
01/27 Direct Link
"Sis, it seems like yesterday you were just a little boy"...

I had to get the card. Immediately, you matched up with the picture of a mushroom-cut kid who wants to scrape her knees on weekdays but has to wear a dress on Sundays. You were the ultimate tomboy. Ditch ‘em and Street Fighter, an I LOVE COPS t-shirt and shorts past your knees.

I can pinpoint the month you became a woman, not by blood but by the appearance of a mini-skirt and platforms. You were one of the boys until you realized you wanted to have them all.
01/28 Direct Link
tickle me pink and cut me some slack, because fatalities are on the way. war is never over as long as there is blood to be shed. a banjo and a box of raisins should be enough to keep a man happy. as long as he's never seen television or lived in american suburbia. whine until it all gets settled with a game of horseshoes. decent merlots are hard to find and last call requires coping skills. round up the cattle and trek through the minefield. last one out is a rotten corpse and first one has to bury it.
01/29 Direct Link
Ray and Raeann hit their 22nd today. I didn't call either of them – wanted to, planned to. Sometimes my phone and I are amiable but not on speaking terms - emergencies only. I sent cards though. Dad said he forgot all about it until ten or eleven that night, apologized to Ray. He called Raeann to do the same. She gives a classic Renee Bug response:

"Nigga, I was gonna give you ‘til midnight before I started asking for my present..."

I remember when she was always so comfortable, bold, humored – primping in the mirror, joking "Damn, I look good."
01/30 Direct Link
My dreams keep finding blood, breath; some point, scene, some moment of night-thought epiphany always ends up feeling plucked from reality, real and manifested:

Julie tells me there's something she forgot to tell me, some severe warning that I must know about turning 40, looking red-eyed and terrified; I'm being followed, stalked, raped, and scream like murder when Jordan unknowingly touches me; I couldn't hear or speak to anyone I passed and an old southern hick cups my ears, teaches me that I haven't chosen to listen; I started crying, profusely but calmly, and it felt like enlightenment, pure contentment.
01/31 Direct Link
Rented a movie for myself tonight, watched The Hours. I should get in the habit of doing this more often, disregard Jordan's disinterest.

I didn't know Virginia Woolf killed herself too, another suicide. I don't know if it's accurate – how she filled her pockets with heavy rocks, walked calmly in, and drowned. She was ugly and strong, lonely and ethereal; then she was a tallymark.

I used to think sinking into silent water would be a nice way to go. I never thought of the heaving gulps of water that would lead to bloated lungs.

Did she reach up, regretful?