Friday, June 30, 2006


my hubby just got me an mp3 player. it is black. i told him,
ooh, the dark feminine, good job.
his is white. all morning i've been grooving to the soothing (sort of), sounds of blue october.

i'm writing a proposal. it is a grueling, ego shattering experience. i like to think i'm egoless (i'm not). i like to pretend i'm beyond this publishing business (i'm not). the fact of the matter is, every writer wants to be published regardless of how good a game they talk. if they tell you otherwise, they are either clueless or lying (go with clueless, it is kinder).

i don't like that i'm having to measure my works against others to see how they will perform and sort of forecast how mine will (hopefully). i'm a writer not madame fortuna. maybe this fortune cookie will give me some hints, hmm. i've been thinking a lot about how we try to intuit the future. this feels an awful lot like doing that.

writers always pick the best sellers and say,
mine is far greater than this book, because, well, i wrote it.

and tell them what else they get bob

if you pick up this book, you get a neurotic writer, who will sign books disingenously because she really doesn't know why people sign books at all. other than to collect some meaningless scribble.

who are we kidding? who am i kidding? do i really think i even stand a chance beside ann lamott? yeah. right.

can't i just stand on my own merits? gone are the days when a piece of writing got picked up by merit alone, i guess. and the thing is kids, i have so many legitimate reasons why i never completed my degrees, why i've been struggling for every crumb of writerly wisdom i've managed to devour. but none of those reasons will reflect on this proposal. only the bare bones of who i am and what i've done.

it's a frightening prospect really. saying,
i've got nothing but the work to show you. i've got no good reason for you to want to publish me other than i can write all ready. i can write.

but does that affect the bottom line? will the fact that i can actually string a few words together in a meaningful way amount to much? i don't know. i just don't know.

i don't pastor a megachurch, or have a base to exploit. i don't have anything really going for me except i think my book might actually be meaningful to this generation. is that crazy? who am i to think i've got something to say? again, i don't know. i just don't know.

i am really just a stay home mom who homeschools her girl. a poet. and that's about it kids. nothing else. nothing of note to mention. no distinction to garner oohs and aaahs. i'm just me. is that enough? at this point, i'm not really sure.

i'm doing market analysis right now and it kills me. if i am still a functioning human being come tuesday, God be praised, because it will be Him who gets me through this and not my steely will which has gone soft on me the past few days of nonstop writing and working.

i'm pissing and moaning sure. but i want, more than anything, to present myself in the best light. and i'm just scared. afraid it won't be good enough. afraid i won't be good enough. and i know they say,
it's a rejection of the work and not you,
but tell that to someone who just poured their entrails upon a page that it's not them. it still hurts.

i had a friend ask me last night,
are you going to be okay if it doesn't go well?

i said,
eventually. it will hurt. but i will get over it.

the fact of the matter is, i don't have my hopes pegged on anyone but God. it will be an ACT Of God ALL mighty if i do get published. that is all i've got to say kids. i've got no credetials of note, no significant successes thus far in life, nothing other than i can write a few things that make people laugh, and maybe think. is that enough? who knows.

we all go through it, this writerly business is grueling. i sometimes wish i were in emily dickinson's shoes. writing my little heart out. now and then dropping a basket of yummies to the kids on the street. tending my garden. writing for the bliss of writing. living my life out unencumbered by the NEED to be published. just living. just writing.

but no. here i am, trying to sell myself. trying to say, here is why people will read my works, when i genuinely have no clue. i don't. will the book flop? maybe. will it skyrocket? hopefully. will i get a few more books out of this shenanigan? i hope so. but who knows, who really knows.

why should they take a chance on me?

i'm still working on that one. let me know if you've got any ideas. my cute smile and witty comebacks don't amount to much on a proposal.

it basically boils down to slaying my ego and giving it my best shot. rejection or not, i must walk this road. open this door. go through. i just wish it weren't so scary and i wasn't so alone.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


shortly after i corralled my thoughts on persephone, i came across the story of psyche. i think it was a day or two later. things work out like that for me, i write about something, or start contemplating a topic and suddenly the world opens up and shows me all it's hidden treasures.

so i read a book that said, do not identify too closely with persephone. she is the queen of the underworld and you must not stay there (or die essentially), which struck me as sound advice.

a bit more i learned about persephone, she was kidnapped, and it was a narcissus (aka daffodil) flower, dark red enough to almost be black, out in a field that drew her attention (it would have caught mine, too). she was with her mother, demeter, the first time she saw it. she returned to it late that night as she couldn't forget it, and the full moon shone on it, illuminating it.

she bent to smell it when the ground rent and a chariot of horses, i believe they were firey, came to carry her away. to the underworld. she ate only six pomegranate seeds while in the underworld, and stays a month for each seed she et.

and ultimately zeus did play a part in releasing her, with the caveat that she must not have eaten in the underworld. but hecate is the goddess who helped demeter find her lost child. hecate is a type of crone, essential to unity.

psyche, though, now her story is quite different. she also encounters persephone, but it is at the end of a long series of trials which she cannot possibly accomplish with out divine help. eros, her beloved (aka cupid), sends the help she needs. with each successive task aphrodite (aka venus) is certain psyche will fail and not marry eros (aphrodite's son).

with each task, psyche wants to kill herself. overwhelmed by the seeming insurmountable odds. i understand this. despair hits her and without intervention, she would not be able to accomplish any task. she simply lacks the ability to navigate the stormy trials.

all ends well. she does not eat from persephone's table while in the underworld, she appeases charon, the boatman of the underworld, and crosses styx. she feeds cerberus the three headed dog which guards the gates. she does not expend energies on tasks other than her assigned, which requires great wisdom and discernment.

she emerges triumphant, yet falls into a deadly slumber for not heeding aphrodite's full counsel. eros, ultimately saves her, and then they are married in the big fat greek wedding of the ages. zeus makes her immortal, giving her the nectar of the gods. and badabing all ends well.

yes, psyche it is.

what does all this mean to me, i'm still figuring out. but mythology is a love i've long neglected and i'm glad to have it back again. much to read, much to write, i must away.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006


i'm not sure if it seems like i just do fun stuff all the time or if i just make it sound interesting by offering my take on it all. my life is full of the same drudgery as yours, dishes, laundry, floors, meals. i just don't let it eat me alive.

as i was thinking about it this morning, it came to me that i dismiss the drudgery to the periphery of my life, i do not let it take center stage, ever. poetry weaves in and out of everything i do. even sleeping.

my dear friends who lament to me about not knowing what to do, or how to do it, break my heart because i remember a time when i was there. i remember a time when i worked and slept and worked and that was about it.

but then i began to go rollerskating, i've always loved to skate. never learned how to rollerblade, though i've often thought about it. now i wonder if the old bod can handle the bumps and bruises of blading/learning to blade. it probably would have been wise to learn it when i was younger and less inclined to really hurt something if i took a dive. but now, there's a lot more of me than there was then, so it might be dangerous. i'm a committed skater, so i will likely just get new skates when i feel the urge. got rid of my old ones for some reason (i don't know why) and have been longing to skate again lately.

when i was nineteen, i found a large park with great skating paths, it was about 45 minutes away from where i worked, but the beach was about 1.5 hrs away, so it was a nice compromise. i grew up by the beach in my high school years and skated from torrance beach all the way up past manhatten beach. then when i moved after high school to orange county, i'd skate from huntington beach to laguna beach. nothing like skating down the beach.

i wiped out once, i will tell you this briefly, as it is the only broken bone story i've got. i was carrying a ghetto blaster (remember when radios were huge?), playing metallica or something, and my stopper, break, whatever it's called, came off. i went flying but my hand around the ghetto blaster broke my fall, except that i had been in a beauty pageant and had on a full set of fake nails (that is not as great a story as it sounds, but perhaps i'll tell it), and my nail ripped off with all the tender flesh of my pinkie on it, and i broke that tiny pinkie bone. ouch!

a guy walking his dog went right past the bloody mess that i was, didn't even ask if i was okay. i picked up all that went flying and sopped up the blood in my tank top. then my sister took me to emergency after i made it back to our apartment.

i've completely gotten off my point, but that is all right, i had to get that story out. sometimes things get in my head and if i let them sit there they take up all the room like a big fat man on the middle of the couch. no where to sit until he leaves, so i write about it, essentially feeding him, and he leaves.

i'll write more about drudgery in my book. which was my whole point anyway.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

the dive

well kids, i've printed out my manuscripts, both are compiled, now i'm trying to pretty them up. read passages newly written aloud to my husband last night, who seemed to tolerate them well. i'm also compiling fifty poems and i've got all my recent unseen stuff (unseen by 99.9% of the people i usually show stuff to that is).

i kept thinking this book (the poetry) will either make me or break me. but isn't that the case with everything we write? perhaps it is more the shtick of poets, confessional poets at that, to lay themselves upon the page for scrutiny. and sometimes we just have to launch it out there and see what happens. i wonder what will happen. i really do. it's an exciting time kids.
a time,
my sister says,
when my heart's desires are coming true.

we were in barnes and noble, i was walking up and down the rows of poetry and i asked my sis,
do you think i'll ever have a book here?

knowing you,
she said,

that reminds me, i've got the greatest shots of my sis. i've been waiting for her to send them since she visited (remember, i don't take pictures), so i'll have to show her to you.

this first picture is of a dive she took when we were walking home. she hit a glitch in the cement and landed with a mighty thud. she lay there laughing and laughing. it was great. if you're going to make a complete fool of yourself, the least you can do is enjoy it, eh? people were looking at us, saying
is she all right?

she said,
i always do stuff like this.
and just lay there laughing. she is very graceful normally, but that day, whoa! i turned around and saw her bent over and moving forward intent on going down. i couldn't stop, help, or do anything other than quell my laughter (by force of will) until i knew she was all right. then i took pictures of her. (what are sisters for if not to memorialize our foibles?)

she was parked on the concrete like this for about five minutes. you'd think she was very comfortable she stayed there so long. i love her. she's great. since i can't seem to upload any normal pictures, so you'll just have to imagine her upright, eh?

catcha later cats.

Monday, June 26, 2006


went to the convent yesterday with the lovely 84 year old helen.

found out the origami hat is called a miter. the bishop carries a shepherd's crook and wears this hat which can be "as unique as the bishop. and damn ugly" according to a 76 year old friend of helen's. i had a blast with these ladies.

they told me they were on the way out to the convent once, oh, twenty years ago or so, and stopped by the black horse tavern for drinks. then they went to meet with the mother superior with liquor on their breath. funny. they laughed when they spoke of it. i laughed right along. i hope to have friends for this length of time when i am old.

the miter the bishop lady had on was beaded by a native american, i knew that. i could tell by one glance at it. i asked her after if it was and she said,
yes, cree.

i knew it was northern.

it's heavy in the summer.

it's made of leather isn't it?

yes, she made me a stole (sp?), moccassins, and miter.

they are gorgeous.

thank you.

so i nearly kept up with whole service, and what i found to be most interesting was the altar boys (aka, priests. they looked like overgrown altar boys. grey haired, towering over the short rotund priestesses.)

the women did a lot of singing. these female priests. which i enjoy. before one priest was to sing the reading from the new testament, she went over to the bishop who anointed her with oil and laid hands on her and prayed. it was quite regal.

the overgrown altar boy got the same blessing, and held the bible open for the singing priestess. while another towering altarman (i shouldn't call them boys), swung the incense thingy, what are they called? censure i think (maybe not), and the whole time we were singing he kept swinging that censure and wafting incense all around the sanctuary. fortunately it wasn't right in front of me or i would have broken out into a fit of coughing to rival an emphezema patient.

so, this chapel we were in was gorgeous. the altar was inlaid with icons and gold leafed. if i were to join any church, this would be it. man it was gorgeous.

i'm not opposed to the liberal standings of this particular genre of churches, as i'm pretty open minded. get 'em in, we'll clean 'em later, is my opinion.

i'm still in need of a good scrubbing now and then.

i was noticing how goodlooking some of the priests were. wowza. what a load that is to carry. not only standing in for God, but being a looker too. i had to keep looking away because there were some mighty fine heirs of righteousness present and i didn't want to transgress, if you know what i mean.

the ladies, not so much.

one priest stood up after they shed their vestments, and he was wearing scarlett from head to toe. a more gorgeous get up on a priest i have never seen. apparently only bishops can wear this color. and it was stunning. that miter and scarlet getup are the strongest argument for being a bishop i've ever heard (or seen, as the case may be).

that's all. i was standing there the whole time with my irreverent humor running through my head thinking,
you God are merciful to get a kick out of me.

but He does, go figure.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

one week.

i have about a week left before i turn in two manuscripts. i hadn't realized how much i had to say, how long i'd been wanting to say it, how meaningful this message is to me. i'm still enamoured of it.

my sister says her oral hygenist, whom she mentioned my book to, wants to read it.

i laugh because, i keep hearing that. very few have seen the actual pages, but there are a few, and i keep hearing this chorus,
where's the rest of eve?

they want to see more. which is a blessing. i pray the words come out someday, and that they arrive with the Spirit of the living God on them, in them. that they are more than just letters and symbols. but that i actually have, as my life motto professes, caught the breath of God on the page. such heights i aspire to.

i've not really got time to blog, and less so next week, so forgive me if i miss a few days, but knowing me, i'll try to come up with something to say.

my girl enjoyed the piece about her spinning out of orbit. she just drew a picture of it. whenever i find a picture on the floor, i can usually tell exactly what her state of mind is. perhaps i'll have to scan some and show you how she uses stick figures in most cases, to convey the state of her soul.

from when she was a tiny girl, she's been drawing. once we watched a godzilla movie and she drew the oriental lady singing to godzilla, i think she was about two or three then, she drew music notes coming out of the lady's mouth to indicate song.

the child can get concepts on paper, that is for sure.

so she hands me this tiny piece of paper with her world careening out of orbit, drawn on a scrap no bigger than a raffle ticket stub (the tiny ones). the signs she says, (because i wrote in a piece, the signs are there anyone can see she's falling--wait, that was from a piece she hasn't heard, so i'll have to go look back and see where she got my words from. she must hear words the way i do, by being silent and listening)

are a broken heart, a hammer for anger, a friend, and a tear drop. these are the signs that her world is careening out of bounds.

good thing, my arms can hold her in.

better teach her, when mine fail, His never do.

she asked me the other night,
mom, what's shadow?

darkness. sometimes we fall into darkness, and get sad.

i hadn't meant to explain all this to her yet, but well, the sooner the better i guess.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

the exceptions

i'd rather be around nonchristians than christians any day. i'm sure that surprises no one. perhaps it's the weight of judgment, or percieved judgment, i feel around the saved, which means it is all in my head, and i'm the real problem. yes, that is probably true.

but imaginary judgment or real, i still feel more comfortable around the unsaved. call me crazy.

i've got to say i've met some profoundly wonderful christians of late, they seem to be the exception. why are all the exceptions available only by email, or internet? how come i can't find those exceptional people in my congregation or community? is the problem that i'm not looking, or only seeing my misperceptions? perhaps.

not that i don't want to be questioned on theological issues, fine. but after you've grilled me on my latest belief (which is the same as my former, there is only One God, after all, nothing's changed). i feel a bit less certain that you're not evaluating everything i say and do by some standard. is this wrong? sometimes i wonder if being utterly honest with my doubts and misgivings, as well as my certainties, will work against me rather than for me. i don't know. i don't know anything.

i do know that the conversations i most enjoy are those which are like a long walk on a sabbath. meandering, just let me be with you type conversations. not many have time for these type conversations which is perhaps why i feel the weight of judgment, because by the time i've settled your doubts about my dubious beliefs, you've got to go. so i get grilled and then you leave (i don't often let these types of conversations happen more than once or twice. i don't need those kinds of friends).

i find with the unsaved, i don't have to convince them that i'm all right. they assume that to be so. why is this assumption any different in the christian community?

i think the focus is too much on appearances. i don't tell many what i'm reading (all of it, that is) because i just don't want to hear it. i don't want to have to assure folks that i'm all right, that what i'm reading won't lead me down the path to ruin (that's a line from a tracy chapman song), i don't know where i'll end up. perhaps i'll end up ruined, but even then, i'll be all right. i'll still be in the Hand of God.

how can i give anyone certainty about my beliefs when i am so uncertain about anything and everything in life. either you believe me saved or don't, either way, it's not really my problem. i know that i know. you're understanding of my knowing isn't high on my priority list. and the unsaved just don't care about that stuff, but it seems like the only (ONLY) issue on the minds of many christians. but are you really saved? (they keep asking, maybe because i have changed churches and moved so much in my life, i find i need to keep meeting people and making my salvation known). settle their doubts, as it were.

but why?

i know we can't just assume everyone is saved, but i'd sure like to talk about the deeper things of God. the mysteries, in a noncombative way. an openended conversation with no real arrival at THE answers, because there are no real answers to the plaguing questions of the day.

i'd like to be in relationship with a bunch of christians who rest in the certainty of God's ability to keep the sheep in the fold. to retrieve the one and move forward. not always this, but did they escape, but did they escape question. such a skittish church. but maybe that is all just in my mind.

maybe i'm the only one who doubts if i am believing right, and am just projecting this on others (which is entirely possible).

i do not know. but i am grateful for those friends of mine who know that i know and move forward with me, meander conversationally with me, and don't always bring me back to the are you still saved question. i'm tired of that question.

last time i checked, God wasn't letting me go. if that has changed, and likely it won't, there's nothing can be done about it from this end. so why belabor it?

Friday, June 23, 2006

two fine gentlemen.

yesterday i spent six hours straight, no breaks, on my manuscript. way too much, i didn't do the things i needed to do around the house, so as far as fulcrums go, i failed. i did, however, manage to edit my existing manuscript and make sure things are how i would like them to be. details i'd been meaning to get to and finally have.

when i stood up to walk away from the computer, i wanted to drop, but washed dishes, ate something. got on with my day because i had an open mic last night.

i didn't do much by way of advertising. i didn't meet as many poets as i'd hoped in the weeks before (the open mic i was to attend to advertize, was cancelled), so i wasn't sure if anyone really even knew about it. i went, knowing if nothing else, i could read for two hours. i had a good book in hand.

i wandered in and was supposed to have gotten in earlier in the month to meet the manager, but that never happened. so i wasn't sure what to expect. i was unexpected, and just parked myself in the cafe.
don't go to any trouble, i'm not sure if anyone will come tonight
i told the night manager who seemed to bustle about to try to make a place for me. i hadn't really done my part of the deal, so i was mostly there to honor a commitment i made.

sitting there surrounded by two moms, one of them oriental, not sure from where. and the other a new jerseyite, with three raucous kids. whiney, a bit rude to their mothers and perhaps ADD as far as labels go.

they left, after tormenting me for about a half-hour. i was grateful to see them go. and one of the dads was picking up his kid's stuff when he almost grabbed my binder full of my work. whoa! that would have been bad. he thought it was his son's laptop (i think the kid was about ten, tops).

while they were leaving, i wafted over to two gentlemen sitting at a table. i noticed them when they walked in but since they picked up car magazines, i figured we wouldn't have much in common. my mistake. that is the problem with surface judgments.

the older of the two men, prentice, said to me,
bet you can't get just one
(meaning tattoos) and proceeded to show me his sleeves and various tattoos all over his person. around his neck and legs.

i told him my husband wouldn't let me get another one.

and he described a large Jesus he had on his back, an eagle on his chest from his days as a marine. he showed me a rather colorful statue of liberty on his left forearm. we discussed prices and i told him i got mine at rick's tattoo in arlington, virginia. my brother in law's friend does them. that is where my sister still goes to get hers. i can't remember his friend's name though. (NOTE: my sister tells me, that WAS where we got our tattoos, but, james marlow has since opened his own shoppe)

anyway, prentice and edward, his younger friend, obliged me for a reading of my work. they sat with me on the leather couches, and listened to a few poems. we talked about all manner of things.

edward reminded me of the lead singer of an eighty's band, curly longish brown hair, black rayban sunglasses (which when he took off revealed the most gorgeous set of blue eyes. i feel it a particular triumph when you can engage someone in conversation who has sunglasses on and they remove them to continue the conversation. edward left his off the whole time we talked until a third man joined us and edward went to the loo. but the glasses didn't stay on long after he returned). edward wore a hawaiian shirt, with red hibiscus on it with a cream background and green foliage. it turns out he is a music connosieur. his collection, prentice told me, is to die for. walls of all manner of music. edward scrubs in before putting on his pristine music and cleans his player both before and after listening. when the topic of music came up, edward lit up. i wished it had come up sooner. he was particularly fond of coltraine, liszt, bach, but i was too involved talking to prentice to hear much more of what edward was saying.

these gentlemen had very soft voices, which was refreshing. they had nothing to prove. no one to impress.

prentice had survived an 80 mile per hour head on collision, edward said they had to resew his spine back into his body at the base (yeuck, a detail my husband would appreciate). prentice is a gearhead, who lit up when i mentioned i drive a toyota camry. because besides having a great deal of money (the stories he told), he liked to make a thing run and run and run. he could get 90 lbs of oil pressure in his 1991 toyota camry, which had only 8 lbs of pressure when he purchased it with 190,000 miles on it. he wore a large jeweled cross with the face of Jesus on it, on a heavy "real" gold chain. he was a slight man, but substantial. he drank plenty of water to keep things flowing (so did edward),
helps with the headaches,
he said.
if you drink enough water, you don't have to take aspirin.

it turns out prentice has twelve (because he just used one) cases of oil in his garage. he was telling me about this stuff called tuffoil. prentice described how if you use 1/2 of 1 oz per oil change, and change the camry's oil every 2,025 miles, you can get that engine to last forever (as his proves).
he said,
more is not better.

i'm not a chatty cathy as you well know. i would rather read than chit chat any day. but there are some times when souls meet. and i believe when we cross over, i'll join edward and prentice in that heavenly cafe and chat a while longer. i'll be able to hear all edward's pristine music. and maybe get a ride in prentice's camry which will still be running i'm sure.

i read them happiness, a poem i just wrote, and they said,
it's real.
they liked my style and said i was humane, compassionate, confident, and unique. it's amazing what can happen if one just honors committments. even if no one shows, God can still do stuff.

i'll have to read edward my music poems next month. i think they said they'd be back. at least i won't be sitting there alone.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


i'll take a stab at corraling my thoughts on persephone. as with everything i write, i have no idea what i'll say until it's said, and then it is too late, because i don't go back and pretty it up. to some this is an immense waste of creativity, akin to laziness. to me, it is just my process. like getting up and serving a huge cup of coffee, i don't really put a value judgment on it, i just do it. and enjoy every cup. it is my routine.

there have been very few times in my life that i recall this type of feeling. ripe. full of seed. bursting. have you seen pomegranates on the tree pouring themselves out to birds and passers by to eat their bloody fruit? it is a gorgeous sight. the skin of the pomegranate is a blushing coral red. not deep red, but almost pastel, perhaps sunfaded. the fruit is the color of beets.

the fruit and juice stain fingers, tongues, mouths. no one can ingest a pomegranate without the evidence being evident. (how i enjoy using words that way.)

when we were children, my grams would crack one of these babies open and make us sit on the curb to eat it. spitting is invovled. we must have looked like little vampires gorging on that bloody fruit. it was a divine summer pastime.

persephone is the daughter of demeter according to greek legend. she was beautiful. the god of the underworld, hades (or jupiter) wanted her to be his alone. so he lured her down into the underworld, i think he kidnapped her. either way, there she be.

demeter got pissed and refused to bless the earth with spring. she is the goddess of spring, if i recall it correctly.

so she storms up to zeus and demands he do something. zeus makes hades give up persephone, but she had unwittingly, while in the underworld, perhaps sitting on a brimstone curb, eaten a pomegranate.

she could not return to the world above ground fulltime. demeter therefore makes everything to die in the winter months while persephone is in the underworld.

i really dig myths. they are so much a part of life, that they seem to be life itself at times. marion woodman warns,
watch what metaphors you ingest, they are like the food you eat.
according to woodman,
are the language of the soul.
linear thought won't do when talking about soul,
she says.

so my winding through thoughts might be construed by some as soultalk.

woodman says
is giving spiritual significance to transient moments.

there is nothing more significant than making a poem out of a transient moment. that is what we poets do. capture a moment. a feeling. an emotion in time for others to identify with.

so these seeds i'm bearing, the full belly of life i carry, the dripping milk of inspiration which awaits their arrival encourage me. i am ripe with creativity these days and feel my time underground for this season has come to an end. i am returning with spring, full of life.

dr. clarissa pinkola estes wrote,
we hang upside down with our feet in the world and our head in the underworld.

this image, of the person doubledealing as it were, functioning in two realms has brought me great comfort. the abovedwellers want things itemized, priced, and stacked neatly on the shelves. product, product, product. is always their cry.

the underworldwellers, seem more content to let beauty reign even amidst chaos. to let dreams speak as well as flowers and birds. to be creative and move in a dark and uncertain place for a while, knowing it all leads to appreciation of the light.

persephone had a demon lover, one who wanted her and found a way to keep her with him alway, at least part of the year. i do not understand any more than that at this moment. so i leave off here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


i used to smile a lot. all the time i am told, or was when i was younger. not so anymore. i spend most of my time in a pensive state where i'm thinking on something.

at our local grocer there is a man named tom. tom has a set of pearly whites a dentist would kill for. they are straight, and he uses them liberally. the ear to ear grin of this man greeted me for the first time when we had just moved here and i was aflush with dread about where things were and how to find said things.

until you move acorss the country (ultimately, not necessarily all at once, you see my journey began in LA, so for me to be residing in NY, it is a move across the country from me. from my beloved stomping grounds), you don't realize how vastly different things are.

even the local store did not carry the basic food preparation items we had grown accustomed to. there was plenty of pancake mix and even waffle mix, but no baking mix. just straight baking mix. this was a perplexing ordeal when all i wanted to do was cook something familiar for my family. i would stand in the aisle debating on what to get, trying to figure out what was sort of similar. questions about food rank very low on my scale of stand around and ponder, so this annoyed me to no end.

then we found our local big giant discount superstore, and tom.

that man's smile could launch a thousand ships, i'll tell you. it is like a bad virus only in a good way. i try not to smile, but he grins like a child with a new bike whenever he is dealing with anyone, not just me.

so at first i started laughing and said,
do you always smile like that.

he kept right on grinning and said,

he was getting my deli stuff, and in between slicing cheese, i'd tell him profound things like,
you have a great smile.

but i couldn't help it, i couldn't help but stare and now, i put my head down and laugh. he dares you to smile. forces it, by his insistent smiling. i've never seen anything like it. how one man can go about grinning all day, i don't know. but i'm grateful he does.

i realize how grim i've become. how stonefaced. how, try to make me laugh you fool in general. i really don't carry the smile i once did and no one seemed to notice or care. or, worse, be able to change that fact. except for tom.

last week we went to nyc on our regular shopping day, so we missed him. weds, we passed him by the milk and he said,
and grinned.

i yelled out,
hey, i was just thinking of you.
i keep telling him i am going to write about him, and now i have.

i pray you find a tom, someone who infects you with life. with joy. with hope. even if only once a week. it is worth it. i hope to spread the disease once i am fully contaminated.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


last night, late, when all should be quiet, my girl was weeping. this was after much laughter on our part and my being silly and dancing to a song i love from prince of egypt.

the song jethro sings as they welcome moses to the clan. i love that song.

anyway, my girl starts weeping softly at first. then torrentially.

i finally got her to tell me what the deal was. she missed oreo.

out of the blue, she went from giggling and having fun to weeping. tears. lament.

a friend had asked me earlier as we went round and round about the difference between joy and happiness, if i have ever been happy.

nope. don't think so.

i said,

maybe once, when i was young. but not after.

i couldn't, for the life of me, remember a time of happiness. until my girl began weeping. i took her in my arms and held her close. her world was circling out of orbit, threatening to plunge her into shadow. my arms were the only thing holding her from careening out of bounds.

i must teach the child how to deal with shadow. it is a difficult task but one i think every artistically inlined person needs to face. i fell into shadow yesterday but then wrote a poem and came out of it. my sister, best friend, and husband did not think the poem i wrote was a happy poem. but it was.

it took a poet to understand. and he did. i am told the opinions of poets matter more than those of my "regular" friends. my husband laughed when he heard this. he probably agreed.

i told him.
no, it is just a peculiar language.

explain this to me,
he said.

i told him,
if i started talking to you about engineering. the numbers and whatever it is you deal with, you'd know i didn't know what the hell i was talking about. right?

he said.

how do you know?
(i asked him this, because he asked me how i know people really know the language of poetry and aren't just saying that).

you know because you see the engineers working beside you and you know they understand what you are doing.

same with me. i deal with poets who write poetry. not just those who have picked up the name because they wrote something once ages ago.

i think he understood. it is a problem i've been struggling with for a great while. how to convey to my people my great love for them, while at the same time, speaking an entirely different language.

so my girl, lying in my arms, was stilled and eased into peaceful slumber.

and i remembered, i was happy once.

when i was pregnant and she was just a baby. those were times of utter bliss. times when all i knew and needed were either growing inside me or sleeping beside me. those were times of complete happiness. something i'd forgotten, until now.

Monday, June 19, 2006


mondays, what can i say. the mountains of laundry have piled up. the dishes await washing, the stairs climbing. i get tired of it sometimes.

yesterday as i sat in church watching the fraction, i kept thinking of the quotidian mysteries. the essential mundane. the things we do daily that keep us firmly grounded in the present moment.

i think i'm addicted to coffee, and you really don't want to be around me unless i'm in the process of ingesting it or have ingested copious amounts of it. what can i say, i love it. so i'm taking my piping hot cup out of the microwave (my hubby had made it for me when i got up the first time this morning, but i went back to bed), so i reheated it.

my girl backed into me and i burned my hand. but didn't drop my cup and shatter it (which is good because it is my favorite cup and she was standing right beside me and all i need is the guilt of burning the child a second time).

guilt can leap upon a mother (anyone i'm sure) unaware. it lurks in the corners and on rooftops waiting for the right moment.

so i scream out in pain, and try to put the cup down so i can run cool water over my hand. i cuss a few times, and she takes off crying. great. what a way to start the morning. and i just got up. why did i get up today?

because it's monday. and the essential mundane requires it. life requires we check in. but i'm all ready fuming and steaming up and down the stairs to the laundry, it is four flights i'm climbing to put things in and out. the temperature has gone up since this weekend and i get homicidally hot. so i'll stay away from people today. my poor husband, he'll have to come home and deal with me. but i earned a few points yesterday.

some of the reading i've been doing says when we create, when we do good, when we dwell in light, there must be a price payed to shadow. i guess mondays are my shadow days. i get angry. i deal with that anger contemplatively washing dishes. i dance a bit in the kitchen. i fume a bit in my mind for a while as i trudge up and down for the millionth time.

around four, i'll be done with everything, but it is only 11, and i've just begun. the fulcrum point, is the triangle upholding the seesaw. the darkness and light in balance at the fulcrum point. too much extreme one way or another and the whole thing topples over. too good, one becomes a legalist. too bad, one falls into shadow. i am trying to find my fulcrum point this day. to balance upon the scale and not frighten the little children, or offend the old ladies. but be at peace. to rest upon the fulcrum. that is the task of today.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

depths of sound.

the pianist who played yesterday was well worth it. he was all sweaty after playing a twenty plus minute piece, i hadn't realized it was such an exertion. but this guy never looked at a scrap of music. that last tweny minute piece was amazing. and to have it all in the guy's head was just phenonmenal.

the final piece was sonata in b minor by Liszt. the thing that struck me about this piece was it was a faust themed story in music. the varying themes were laid out for us hearers to stay more invovled and the piece. the mephistopholes' sounds were heavy and imposing, while the lover, gretchen's sounds were light and airy. the striking thing was, the notes, the music was exactly the same for the devil as the lover. this recurring theme of demon lover is something i shall have to explore. of course it was not stated outright, but it does not take a genius to figure out that using the exact same theme for demon and lover is no coincidence.

my friend the pianist was also at this little shindig and i overheard him saying to someone at the intermission,
she's a poet and is probably writing a poem right now.

which is nice to overhear. so i looked up and said,
it's finished. want to read it.

and he did. i'm not used to people really knowing what i'm up to, so this was a new experience for me.

do you want to see it? hopefully it is worth your time.

Depths of Sound

The Fingers
___of God
Dance across
___ivory shores
Plunge the world
___into peals
Of ecstasy
___Depths of Sound
Wave upon wave
___relentless beauty
___a union
Of sound and
Unleashing torrents
___of emotion
Black keyed despair
___Golden Stones
Hammers quicken
___silence falls
The void forever
To overflowing
___Depths of Sound.

there's more to say but time prohibits me from going on. to all the fine men who read me and whom i adore, happy father's day!

Saturday, June 17, 2006


i opted out of a trip to the beach today, my lover will miss me, but i'll go sometime. there is a carnegie hall level pianist playing at our library today, and, well, i have to go hear him. i get to spend the day alone now, and that is always a plus in my book. what can i say, i'm becoming a hermit.

i read bly's book on rilke yesterday. what a marvelous book that is.

the thing that strikes me about encountering these poets is how much, how uncannily much i have in common with them. i wouldn't try to find similiarities that aren't there. but i'm struck by them when they are.

bly writes of rilke, he sacrificed for his art.

i'm hoping i never get as carried away as he did, missing his daughter's wedding to write poetry, but there have been times. like today. am i opting out of life for art? am i making sacrifices for inspiration. never before would i have said this, but never before have i lived in such an artistically lavish place. inspiration abounds, and being around such a high calibur of artisans, one must, simply must not miss out. if at all possible.

rilke's focus on seeing is not something i have consciously done, but it is something i have done. looking so intently at things until they become seen. not as objects but as themselves.

sometimes i wonder if i see my husband as clearly as i see bees and butterflies.

when the wisteria was blooming in abundance out on our trellis, bees would hover, and i'd be just a screen's width away from them. there was one, one day that hovered and regarded me, several times. he'd fly away and then return. his round black and yellow striped body, his loud buzzzzz announcing his return. he was simply gorgeous. perhaps he was trying to devise a means to sting me, but he couldn't. perhaps he thought me the most beautiful and rare flower (these are the things i tell myself, ask my girl).

these conversations with the creatures of the world, the greenhouse of creativity in which i dwell is quite fascinating. and i have to bless my husband for encouraging it.

yesterday we went for a walk and i took my journal. my girl crashed her bike, she didn't get hurt fortunately, save wounds to the tender ego. but we got to the park and my beloved listened as i read poems i had just written.

that is the good thing about taking my journal everywhere, i've always got poetry in hand. i have a few gems tucked in there from my favorite poets as well, but i read those to savour the words and images.

i can't help but think publication of my work will be infinately easier when i'm six feet under. then i won't object to them cramming me in a box. or doing whatever little marketing scheme will work. i'll be too dead to care. so i keep stockpiling poetry, which i'm not sharing as i once used to. very few get to read my stuff now. but if you hear me live, you can hear what i'm currently working on. i tend to read recent stuff at readings.

which reminds me, next thursday, in ramsey, nj, i'll be hosting an open mic at borders. i've not made a big hullabaloo about it. it will likely be an intimate gathering by design. the smaller the better in some cases. i want the poets who come, and the listeners who come, to really be able to interact. to get to know each other and become familiar with the work of the poets reading. that doesn't happen at big anonymous venues. but, that won't stop me from going to the dodge poetry festiveal just the same. four glorious days of poetry. my beloved has said i can't take my girl,
i don't want her around "that"
he says.

i guess he doesn't realize, she's around "that" every day.

Friday, June 16, 2006


before i take you into the licoln center, i remembered this little gem. i was sitting beside my girl and we'd rested a bit. i had bly on the brain and wanted to finish reading the book i had with me. so i asked her,
can i read some poetry to you?

she said,

so i got out bly. and she said,
read me your poems, mom.

and so i did. right there in lincoln center, i sat reading my poetry to her. my first ny public poetry reading, rather well attended i must say for an impromptu affair. she claps when i finish one. she tells me,
i don't want to be a poet.

i tell her,
sometimes, a hawk doesn't want to be a hawk, but what choice does he have?

she understands this. i don't pressure her to write or read poetry, but she's got it in her blood. i was able to read some poems from the drive out to ny, the ones about the slain snoutnose that died on my shirt. she hadn't heard those. and she liked them very much. her dad didn't want me to burthen her with it during that difficult time, but much has changed since then.

she enjoyed them. then we went in for our tour.

the sweet girl who toured us around (i know that is an awkward phrase but gave us a tour is lumbering, and i don't want to use it) was tall and slight. i knew, before she'd even said it, that she had once been a ballerina.

ballerinas are, in the number world ones.

all up and down, north and south, no detours.

my people are all eights.

abounding in detours, diversions, if you know what i mean. no straight lines anywhere. that my precious girl, with her body which is just like mine wants to be a ballerina, i find unrealistic at best.

belly dancing, flamenco, tango, those are dances for our bodies. those are earthy, curvy, voluptuous dances. our bodies naturally take to those dances.

so we're touring the center and the girl kept reminding us of the "theme" the state building in lincoln center was built with, the jewelry box. so she is having the girls point out items that reflect this theme. i'm doing everything in my power to keep a pokerface and not roll my eyes or let out an exasperated sigh.

imagine this, i'm standing around with the ladies and their daughters
1111 111 118 11811

and they are talking about how this arena is built for baubles and trinkets. so not what i want my girl to be getting out of this. then we get to see some of the retired costumes and photographs from ages past. they were nice. pointe shoes were shown, lots of stuff.

then we're marched into the arena where we saw part of a rehearsal for a ballet that has not yet had its world debut. if i could remember the name, i'd really impress someone, but i don't remember it. all i know is, there were lots more ones on the stage bending in all manner of ways.
111 Y N 11T K1

i wrote a poem. i don't know if it is any good. but it kind of expresses how i felt. may it find you well.

The body type of a ballerina
_____is a lamborghini
A finely crafted
For impressing and
_____high performance
A machine
_____called on to perform

I've never been much
_____into performance
I'm more of a Toyota
Something for getting
Good gas mileage
_____hardly ever breaks

_____The body of a
is living sculpture
I'm more folk art
_____earthen, asymmetrical.

that is all i wrote when they shut off the lights for the rehearsal.

we moved like rockets and found our way home. escorted by a slight thing of a young man, who had a short blonde curly pony tail sticking out from under what can only be called a fadora which was white and had red and blue plaid designs (it was unique). he wore a linen coat and had an ipod bud in his ear. i kept talking to him, and he kept pulling it out of his ear, such a gentleman.

we met an african american man on the platform of the train, who helped us find the right train. there had been some situation on the tracks and things were rerouted. but we made it home. and such an immense weight of worry, the unknown was lifted on that simple ride home.

my girl and i, and the african american man sat in the only unairconditioned compartment on the train. it was HOT. there was a young blonde man in a green suit sitting across the aisle from us. his suit jacket lay on the seat beside him. he sucked it up. didn't look the least bit detered by the heat even though he was sitting in the sun.

there is something incredibly pleasing about a man who does not complain but just deals with whatever hand he'd dealt. the jarhead cut of this young man led me to believe he was a soldier, uninclined to pissing and moaning. he was beautiful in his willingness to endure whatever he had to, just to get home. he reminded me of a soldier very much.

my girl complained most of the way home about the heat,
it builds character,
i told her. a favorite line of ours from calvin and hobbes.

and so, we made it home at last.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

the journey continues.

so we walked from times square past radio city music hall, annie is one of my girl's favorite plays, so she was thrilled to see this. then made our way up sixth avenue, dodging buses, taxis, all manner of passenger vehicles. up to central park.

at one point, there is total gridlock and this ambulance is blaring its sirens. a grey haired gentleman who had a grey moustache wearing all black, black slacks, smart black shoes, and a black polo type shirt was midway through the crosswalk when the ambulance appeared at the end of the line of traffic. he steps into the street and starts waving people through against the lights and whatnot.

when he finally managed to get the ambulance passage, he returned to the sidewalk and i said,
good job.

he smiled and said,
they were just sitting there.

it is nice to see a man take charge. i love it. then he walked away. an unsung hero.

which reminds me of the smells. the scent of urine in the air, wafting on the breezes, the exhaust fumes billowing by. upon reaching central park and the handsome carriages one is met with the scent of manure, carriage after carriage lined up and they've got no horsey potty, so there you have it. we had to dodge a bit of dog doo while walking through the park as well.

before we got there we passed a couple living window displays. the artist caught our attention. he was splatter painting, which doesn't look like it requires a great deal of skill. just slamming paint on a canvas. so we watched for a moment while he tried to make it look interesting, then noticed the three guys sitting on a couch in the next window. there was a t.v. with its back side to us, and they had their faces painted (orange, not sure what team that was supposed to represent). when we watched them they started jumping and waving a big foam finger and making faces. there was an oriental guy in the middle of an african american guy and a white guy. that was cute. then we noticed another window and walked back to it. there was perched a beauty queen. she was just standing there and waved at us when we stepped back to gawk at her. her display was arguably the least interesting of the three.

so in central park we wound around the paths and saw koi and mallards and whatnot. chatchka animals you can see anywhere really. i knew the zoo was in that vicinity (sp?) so we searched out some real animals, though i've lost all interest in seeing caged beasts.

we found a nice bridge and crossed over the lake, but the wall was too high and my girl couldn't see over it into the water.

she said.

reminding me of what it is like to be a child. i was on a mission to get us to lincoln center so i didn't let her doddle on the bridge. plus it was hot. and i wanted to stop somewhere shady if we did stop.

across this bridge we found a little inlet for the lake, and it was yeucky. typical urban pond. afloat with all manner of muck.

people were perched on rocks and lying out on the grass sunning themselves and eating lunch. smoking cigarettes. soaking up the rays.

the park was nicely buffered from the sounds of the city until you crossed the bridge and found an amusement park type area where there were carnival rides, etc. i had to get away from that.

mom, let's go see.
my girl asked.

nope, your dad has to do that with you.

she didn't argue. she knows it's pointless. i'm not into the whole carnival scene. if we do that at the fair or somewhere, i take a book. or go see a show while they do that. what can i say, i'm over it.

so we leave the park, i didn't let her climb any rocks or anything. i just wanted to get to lincoln center at that point. so we sat down across from columbus circle, by a fountain with the front part of a ship sticking out. a tribute to those who died in maine, fate unfeared, ...something else, can't remember, but it was a lovely statue/fountain that actually had water in it. the library fountain was dry as a bone. we stopped for a moment to check the maps the pianist had loaned us.

so we find lincoln center and make our way into the state building. the aged african a merican security guard was reading a newspaper and said he didn't know there was any kind of tour going on today.

trying to throw me off the scent. so we wandered out and bought ben and jerry's cherry ice creams and parked ourselves across from the juliard.

the people there were great. the marble planters were nice and cool. we sat under trees and rested, we'd only sat down at lunch since we'd gotten off the train. we'd been walking for about three hours at that point. i was pretty tired.

renee sat for a bit, then began building little boats out of leaves and twigs. her intent was to sail them across a large reflecting pool, but i wouldn't let her.

so we waited until just before the time we were to go in and found our group and entered. the other little girls we were with were taking ballet. slight of frame, all. so i will leave you here and get to the whole subject of bodies and the lincoln center tomorrow. i'm done for now. peace.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


so we went to new york city yesterday. the first leg of the trip we had the pianist as escort. i wanted to sit where i could see out the window of the train, you know, i like to be inspired. we ended up sitting across from the door of the lavatory (staring right at it), that is another kind of inspiration entirely. i'm happy to report no one blew out the loo while we were on the train.

one new jerseyite sitting beside us leaned over and said,
hey buddy, can you keep it down, you're bothering everyone on the train.
(his yellow soft cover michael chriton book demanded he focus all of his attention).

the pianist apologized. then reconsidered. he said,
have you considered taking a limo, this is public transportation.
(i was so proud of him!)

the guy left it at that and the pianist and i continued having a lovely conversation on the way to seacaucus.

along the way the pianist explained all manner of things. what to look for on the signs, where to board the trains, where to go while waiting to be sure we got on the train, etc. very helpful details, all.

so we made it to the empire state building (my girl and i looking up most of the way) and walked through, i am so glad he didn't want to go up. i didn't. and likely won't unless my peeps insist. i enjoyed just seeing it from below. i have no desire to go up in those big tall buildings. i've never really gone up in big tall buildings (over 35 floors that is).

we part ways and head over to times square via the new york public library, which wasn't open so we merely skirted it. but now i know where it is. that is where i was supposed to go last saturday but didn't brave the trains alone. it was so easy. now i know.

we lunched at chez golden arche. the lady who took our order was african american with magenta stripes in her hair. a real new yorker. she didn't want to be there, and didn't care if we dropped dead on site. she treated everyone this way, i was glad it wasn't just me. she took my order with general disdain and wandered away to get my food. she wasn't in any hurry. she meandered. made the rounds. probably visited with her friend the fry chef.

while she was away a young latin lady appeared. she was slight of frame and smiled kindly.
have you been helped?

yes, but i'd like an iced coffee, i said.

she made one for me con mucho carino if you know what i mean. she didn't begrudge anyone anything. she was kind. it was nice to deal with her.

so we perch in the arches and look out over times square. my girl says,
this sign is unimpressive.

i broke out bly and started reading a collection of poems i'd brought with me. it is a gorgeous collection which i highly recommend. it's called loving a woman in two worlds.

we left and my God, the people were great.

there were what i consider to be typical new jersey men, stalky, solid, strong-looking. clean cut, generally.

irish men with strong jawlines, massive stature and pronounced noses.

women with wide flat hips and hineys, whose whiteness peeked out at me from behind polyester skirts. when some women walk (perhaps me too), i can't help but watching their caboose go, bada boom, bada bing, bada boom, bada bing. back and forth.

some puertoriquenas which look like they could break out into a salsa no matter what they are doing. those types of sensual women who just need a latin man to emerge from the crowd and right there they'd tango or something.

so many people, i'll tell you more tomorrow if you care to hear it. peace.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

complete sets

i decided to go with artsy over sporty. i've never been into sports. if you know me, you know this about me, when i was on one of the few team sports i've ever played, i remember running around the court asking myself, does anyone know what they're doing? it never occurred to any adult i was dealing with to sit down and explain the situation. to let me in on a few essentials, like the rules. so i ran about, did what i could, but it's basically a losing battle if you have no overall picture. kind of like my map situation. i'm beginning to see a recurring theme here.

i've been reading this new agey book, that isn't worth mentioning by title, and sometimes i put it down and shake my head, hoping i know better than to believe or adhere to any of the garbage i just read. what i do can sound very mystical and weird, but it all comes to the plumbline of the gospel (i'm sure one of my dear friends will be glad to hear me say that, though that is not why i say it).

but i keep telling my friends, it isn't enough. the party line just isn't enough. God is bigger than we've believed Him to be. He has to be. by definition. or we're sunk. so if i can't read a book and be able to trust the God of heaven with my soul, then we're all in a world of hurt because He wouldn't be omnipotent then.

some might say i'm using Him as fire insurance, and you can think what you want, but i've got the certainty of God. and when i shake my head and wonder what in the world is going on, He says,
trust me.
and i do. i always do.

i've been going through this embracing of the masculine and feminine within. the creative masculine is said to be alight with creative inspiration (mine is fine), and i had wondered why my dreams hadn't reflected his well-being. i don't think much about my dreams these days. i read a story about a girl and her king, yada yada yada, i wondered, where's mine?

well in my dream last night, he was there. loving me. it was fabulous. i'm happy to report my inner king is alive and well and living in denmark. (perhaps not denmark, but you understand).

i've begun to realize, i can't function as a partial set, i have to be a complete set. the analogy for this i use is chess. one can only play chess with a full set. one can only match a full set. i'm not interested in meshing with someone else to make up a set, or depending on someone else's set. it's time to be my own set. to play with others from completion rather than want.

this may not make sense to you, but it is where i am at. feeling complete. whole. something i've not spent too much time feeling in this life of mine.

off to waft around new york city today. yes, i'm wafting.


Monday, June 12, 2006


so i'm doing my prayers this morning and the reading is job 1. not a comfort. i'll tell you. job was my Grams' favorite book of the bible, why? i don't have a clue.

but i get the willies whenever i read it because job was a star student. God's pet, i guess you could say. and look what happened, all from being a good guy. man, that is the strongest argument for being roughly hewn, that i've ever seen. this morning as i read it i found myself praying,
don't brag on me God. please don't brag on me.

sending minions to tempt and torment me to see how well i'll do.

then, not only that but his lowsy friends. not to mention his wife as bad advisor. then there's the tongue lashing he got from God. the guy can't win. all this from being good. i'd rather not. thank you.

it makes me wonder some times, do we just have to be good enough to get in? and how good is that? is that sinful to even try to stay in the middle of the herd? i don't think it is necessarily, but just the thought of God putting a spotlight on me freaks me out.

i've got enough grief, thank you very much. enough misery without festering boils and everyone around me saying, curse God and die. don't know that i wouldn't come to see their point eventually and then where would i be.

which is why i guess it happened to job and not me. not that i'm proud that i'd roll over on God if put to it, because ultimately, i think all this purpose driven life living is just an illusion, and it will come down to it. we will be called to stand in the spotlight and while we may not have festering boils, we will likely have some serious consequences for loving the God of heaven.

those hebrews 11 passages coursing through my brain give me the heebeegeebees too. wow, i'm totally sober now. if there was any delusion left, it's gone. peace.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

she walks in beauty

so, i'm wafting around town. i no longer walk, i waft. skirts flying in the breeze, scarf airborne, my hair pulled out of my face, clutching a stack of books, seems i'm always clutching a stack of books these days.

today the lovely 86 years young 3rd order franciscan/anglican associate gave me a journal.
for the writer
she said. Lord knows i love to have a stockpile of journals on hand. something about journals and pens. i carry two on a good day (pens that is), incase one runs out of ink.

i went to the train to see if i could figure out what tickets i need to buy for tuesday. it's all greek to me. i have no clue. so i'm at the mercy of the train station people and the wise counsel of the pianist who will escort us.

i am wondering what to wear to the city (these things matter a great deal). i can waft around the city, but for my first venture, i better plan on being sporty rather than artsy, i guess. sporty is always a safe bet.

at church this morning, the man in the row behind me sang so well it carried me along. you know, hymns can be ruthless if you don't know the tune and take a left when you shoulda taken a right. but this man's voice, the masculine baritone i guess you'd call it, sounds so fine. i love singing when others actually sing from the diaphram (isn't that word supposed to have a G in it? who knows. i could look it up, but i won't).

there is a lady who shares my name and her voice goes up into the rafters and warbles around. it sounds lovely, i just don't know how she does it. when she walks in late, everyone knows it. i'm still trying to just keep up with all the books and reading we do.

though i opt out of the sermon, finding myself disagreeing with the good father on many occassion, and stricken by poetry that must be writ. or will be writ. are they worth it, who knows. i certainly don't.

i dig the garb they wear for services. the priest matches the altar. it is quite schnazzy. wonder who you have to be to wear one of those big origami hats. and carry that shepherds crook. no hats, no crook at my church (well maybe there are crooks at my church, but not the kind i'm talking about. one line of the hymns we sung today was bring our perjuries to light. i dig the old hymns folks. they don't beat around the bush. they lay it out there). but there is a scepter i've noticed they've begun carrying in. and a cross. i'll have to find out what that is about.

tonight we have a lawn party, they'll feed us well and i'll have to chitchat, but as long as it isn't expected of me regularly, i can handle it on rare occassion. i will bring my book and journal and read if i can (i always do this. my husband used to object, but once, when he forbade me to bring my book to his family thing--we'd only been married two months, i was so utterly BORED, i fell asleep. right there in the middle of the party. head back and everything. what a glorious sight. his cousin rescued me and took me to the beach. always a good call). since then, the journal and book go with, and hubby doesn't mind.

well, i've devoured enough of your time with my ramblings. fare thee well.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


no, not payable.on.death (though they are wonderful), but poetry.on.demand. a dear friend's mother requested a poem yesterday.

if i hadn't been to that poetry intensive, i might have grappled with it and labored over it, and had lackluster results. but no, i just wrote one. i pray it blesses her.

it's tough living in a new place because everyone assumes you know what they are talking about and questions of clarification are sometimes met with,
who are you?

such was the case for a hike i was contemplating attending this morning. the call went out,
we're hiking to the top of timp.
okay, where's timp? it is in the state park that we live near, but where? it is a huge place. so i asked.
where is it?

north of camp.
since i got lost on the way to camp (are you really surprised?), i am not sure that description is adequate. it was a lovely place to get lost, granted, we saw deer, and such dense foliage, it was stunning. i love it here. but i don't love all the lostness i've encountered. i've been lost more times here than i care to admit. at least on foot, i can't get that lost. only walking distance lost, what's that a few blocks, maybe? but driving, errors add up and quickly. and these winding roads just don't seem to ever end, and who knows which direction i'm headed.

i've realized one needs an overview map in their heads. when i had to go to nj the other day, i knew i was going east from where i was, there are so many signs, so damn much reading while i'm driving, it is sometimes hard.

the other lame thing about the signage out here is if you are not coming in precisely the right direction, you can't see the sign (unless you're like me, get lost and pass it, then come the way you can see the sign). just one more sign facing the opposite direction would save travellers much headache the preacher said.

the miles seem different here. in the country they seem long because there is nothing there. here they seem long because i'm passing so many things which look almost right. but for yahoo maps (which, btw, if you print out the map, be sure to check the L and R actually print. a small detail which is essential. i didn't check my maps until i was driving and my poor girl had to figure out which way to turn). it was a crap shoot. i got a glimpse of the map once, and instead of reading it and following the steps, 7 to 8, she just read it from the standard reading position.

turn left mom,

she said.

that's not left,
i cut across about five lanes of traffic to get right and it was a miracle i got there.

after circling that particular town several towns, i was given directions other than i had (problem is, i wasn't watching the miles and hadn't gone far enough).

i hate driving to my husband's work. plain and simple.

so this lady says,
who are you? are you with our group?

i said,
yes, i just moved here and don't know where anything is. ask *, she knows i'm legit.

sometimes being unknown is a blessing, and sometimes it is just a pain.

but i've got a whole day to spend between the pages of my current book. one which has a lot of new age crapola in it, but is otherwise a fine read. more metaphor kids. i love it.

Friday, June 09, 2006

the undead

seems i've been dealt another tweny four hours (more or less), to make something of myself. or to bless the Lord of Heaven. i'll take the latter. the former doesn't seem to be working out so well.

i had a talk with someone who matters a great deal, and he said,
give yourself time to become.

yes. that's right where i'm at. a junction between moving forward and growth, or the other (not quite sure what the other option is, stagnation i guess, squelching what is trying to burst forth). it must be my season when the blooms are pushing forth and won't be held in. there is no way to stop the rose from blooming, save pruning, but that will only make it bloom more. so, unless it dies, it will do what it was created to do.

i've thought often about my untimely demise. less these days, but probably still quite a bit. i wonder about this trail of words i'm leaving. if they will add up to something. or if they will be caught upon the wind and blow away.

they add up to something for me right now, because they are my truth. here, on the page (or screen), i am free to speak my mind. confess my fears. rejoice in my triumphs. here, i am free to become.

i don't understand how to translate this that i do into something which can be packaged for sale. i've come to understand it is the nature of the beast that writers consider this, but i keep trying to force it from my mind. keep trying to lay it to rest, but like dawn of the dead, it rises up and comes after me.

i'm not afraid of it, but i just wish it would stay down. but i guess it won't. it has risen again and is stinking and following me.
publish, publish
it says.

i keep ducking in and out of doors.

leave me alone.

i guess this is how c.s. lewis felt when he was trying to hide from God. a most unwilling convert, is what i believe he called himself. as am i.

don't get me wrong, who doesn't want to be published. it is all the stuff that goes with it. it truly overwhelms me. i grow weary just thinking about it.

so i'll start digging a hole again, and cram this follower in. say a few words and get on with my business. but he'll rise. again he'll rise.
publish. publish.

damn fool, just die all ready. or maybe i should just publish and get it over with.
would it were that simple.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


i've had nothing to say, that is why i've not posted. i am well, i am well. thank you for your concern.

sometimes sleep is not what we need, but truth. i've been walking around with a great burden of truth upon me, that i need to unload.

i'll be taking my first trip to the city. possibly saturday to hear a poet read. but most likely tuesday when my girl and i get to tour the lincoln center and watch a ballet rehearsal. the pianist will escort us there so we don't get utterly lost. (which, as you well know, is entirely possible with me).

i was sitting at the library reading yesterday, it seems there is so much to do around my apt lately, the only way i get to read is to leave. sadly.

so i'm sitting there in a chair surrounded by plate glass windows. the trees are lush with green leaves, it rained heavily yesterday, so they were dancing in the breezes, glistening with life. seeds wafting down from high up.

i am enamoured of trees out here. i keep trying to get through this book i'm reading, but even yesterday, i was mesmerized by the trees. waving so gently in the breeze. i've never seen trees like these. and they do a number on you if you let them. they are utterly divine.

i was sitting two stories up, so the birds would light upon branches and there i'd be, right even with them. it was delightful. a cardinal caught my attention yesterday. i wondered if he gets goaded by lesser birds, those of blander colour. less demaning of the eye. less breathtaking.

i notice the little sparrows often look at me with serious eyes, under their heavy black brows. questioning. wondering. watching.

this cardinal flitted higher and higher, until he flew away, finally.

it made me wonder if being so lavishly adorned, being so magnificent is a burden.

i envied those little birds yesterday because i wanted to sit out in the rain storm and enjoy it. but i sat in the air conditioned library.

rain strikes me as one of the ways God touches us. think about it, it is the only substance which runs down our bodies tangibly, whenever it pleases. no place is off limits to the raindrop. it goes where it will. comes and stays as long as it pleases.

it sometimes feels to me like the very fingers of God traversing my body.

when i went to the ren faire last year, it was pouring rain. i had actually hoped and prayed for it to rain. for me to be able to walk in drenching rain and have it be okay. and it was. i was soaked through and i loved it. i just kept walking the grounds and didn't stop. it was muddy, and slippery, very exciting.

what can i say, i'm a cheap date.

so yesterday i wanted to walk to the library, and get soaked through. but it was cool. and my beloved advised against it. i drove. i do have my daughter to consider, which is something i must remind myself. though she probably would have liked getting soaked through too.

i notice that when i'm trying to avoid the rain, to keep from getting wet, driving, or using umbrellas (which i don't anymore), that the rain becomes a nuisance. something so easily equated with the touch of God becomes something i run and hide from. so as not to get wet.

my black and white thinking has been problematic all my life. but perhaps that will change some day.

i've nothing else to say so i'll leave off here. peace.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

took my veil from me

there is a line in death shroud which says, they took my veil from me.

well, that is what happened this weekend. i was hiding behind metaphor. a few people who read me know this. a few souls who can see me, through the words, through the lines, understand what i'm saying even when i hide it in metaphor.

i have dropped the veil. and i'm not ready to stand before anyone but a select few unadorned. naked, as it were.

the things i'm writing are so profoundly personal (like what i was writing before wasn't?), that i'm not sure what i will do with them.

a poet stood before me this weekend and said,
send your stuff out.

it's not about that for me,
i said.

he just looked at me.

it's about relationship.

i don't understand it either. but i'm straddling two worlds here. the christian world doesn't know what to do with me. they don't want to publish anything worth reading (ha! that was an arrogant statement, that i'll leave there for you to see). not that i am so worth reading, but i just can't find anything being published right now that i can't live without.

the secular markets will be oblivious, likely, about my many allusions to the church. but maybe that is how it is supposed to be.

one thing is utterly clear to me. i can't join a convent. as i sat there watching those beautiful women worshipping God, dedicating their entire lives to Him, it became abundantly clear to me. i'll never be a nun.

i'm too sensual. too fond of the other sex. too fond of sex (there i said it). too involved in the lives of people to be truly secluded for any great length of time. no internet. what would i do?

it was clear to me i'm not into obscurity as much as i think i am. those ladies fade their entire lives into community. they sing as one, they live as one, they act as one. separateness is not an integral part. selflessness, connectedness, unity are.

i really thought, before i sat there watching them, that it would be something i could "do" but i can't. perhaps as an oblate or associate, but not, most certainly not as a regular.

first of all, i'd be like the nun in mark salzman's book and they'd be trying to cure my lust. that would be a problem. all the works which will come about the church would not be recieved in the convent, they would be scorned. i promise you.

so i'm still a woman without a home. a sojourner of sorts in a land unfamiliar. only now, without a veil.

Monday, June 05, 2006


i was almost late for pentecost service, because i had gotten up early to write poetry, then opted out of morning prayers since i was going to do them with the sisters, so i went to walk the grounds and came across the labyrinth i had been trying to find. i walked it and prayed. i was in the middle of it, the center praising God five minutes before service was to start.

i reached morning prayer a bit flustered, and the sister gave me the wrong prayer sheet so i was utterly lost and could not participate in the readings. i don't know liturgy that well, i've only been praying the daily office for about three weeks. but some of it was familiar, and i was, eventually able to find some places they were, but i missed so much of the service looking for where i was (there again, me lost, this time, in church) supposed to be, i could not attend to the words. so i stopped trying to be unlost, and just went with it. blind. silent. a looker on.

the sister was so short who held the chalice that when she lifted it to my lips (i a towering 5'1"), i had to bend my knees a bit to get the blood of Christ (we were standing around the altar), but she tipped the chalice back when i bent my knees and it didn't come close to my hungry lips. so i said,
i didn't get any.

she whispered, and we tried again.

this time, i was sucking for all i was worth, and slurped the blood of Christ. such a glorious dignified eucharist, but what do you expect? i got over it, and figured people probably thought i was trying to kick back half the glass, but i wasn't, i just wanted to actually get the wine.

all this took place on the beautiful grounds of a convent and i learned a great many things there. the writerly bits, i'll speak of wednesday on MA.

watching the nuns, the first thing i thought was, could i wear the same thing every day? comfortable as it looked, sensible slimming black with a stiff white collar (going backwards, so the angles met at the nape, and a straight white frontspiece fell across the neck), a red cord dangling a large silver cross. a black drape (don't know the proper names for this stuff), black dress with black cord belt. most were in black hose and had sensible black shoes or black sandals on.

the dear pledge (i forget the proper name for her), sister mary (or mary, since she wasn't technically a sister yet), wore a simple black linen skirt (described as "fine" by the other ladies who joined me), and a white cotton button front shirt with tasteful lace collar. she too wore sensible black shoes and hose.

i've never been a big kneeler. i'm fond of the asian traditions, where they bow to one another. i've long wanted to do this. yes, i'm weird, what can i say. well, the delightful thing was, the sisters bowed to the crucifix instead of all that kneeling and crossing themselves. they did cross themselves, but they bowed, like an asian, to the crucifix. a practice i will now not feel weird about embracing.

there was a moment in the liturgy when the nuns would all bow their heads and sing. i liked this very much as it reminds me of a moment in gourd dance where all the dancers bow their heads in unison. it repeats throughout the song, as did the sisters' bowing. at a particular junction in the prayer. i'm pleased to know this and will incorporate this as well.

there is so much to say, i've the seeds of many poems in me, like a pomegranate, just full of life, unless of course you're persephone (whom i've been thinking much about and then the pomegranate isn't as full of life as you'd like it to be. i consider her story a parallel of mine in some ways, with all the underworld stuff i do. but that is another story for another time).

summation: whitsunday was a blessing. i'm glad i was there, even though i was lost. very indicative of the way much of my life and relations with the church have been to this point. but the Lord gave me a great many gifts which will come to fruition with time. i ended up doing my whitsunday prayers at two pm, after all the poets had pulled off the grounds, because they give me direction. tether me to the King. and i must needs remain securely fastened.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


last night, i watched my favorite show, which acutally ran tuesday night, but i taped it because i don't like watching commercials. i have so much want and desire in my life all ready without subjecting myself to advertising.

(why is it, when there is finally a quiet moment to sit and think peacefully, a neighbor starts up a mower? why? I ask you. now the question becomes, do i shut the window to block out the noise and be a trifle hot, or leave it open and get the sounds of machination coursing through my brain while i'm trying to write? sigh. i do miss country living).

so my favorite show is last comic standing. i love stand up. anyone who can make me laugh, guffaw, split my side, close my eyes and squeeze out a few tears, from an otherwise stonefaced person, is pretty wonderful in my book. the only bummer about this show is the standup is so choppy, and jay mohr isn't hosting this season. i'd taken a liking to him the past three seasons.

rescue me started up again, and it is bittersweet but dennis leary is wickedly funny. i enjoy that show but it's not for everyone. life in the shadow of 9-11.

i'm finally printing out my poems for this weekend, gathering up the last few bits of stuff i'll take with me. cleaning house, and setting my sights on the future.

i cannot remember a time i was so utterly delighted. last night, laughing with the comedians, i couldn't believe it. it was a great day yesterday. spent talking much of poetry, cleaning my daughter's room (disaster area that it was, and i didn't lose my temper once! miracles abound).

it is all good. have i said that lately? i don't think so. have i thought that lately? i try, often but may not outwardly express it. my task from this point until sometime mid sunday, is to be present for every moment, every jot and every tiddle of the poetry intensive. to mingle with the group. this is the first time i'll be spending a whole weekend with only poets. about twenty, i believe. i've gone back and forth over a great many things in my mind, and mostly, i think i'll just try to be me, for better or worse. and let the rest unfold before my waking eyes.

it's all good.